Ford believes that its vehicles of the future could have the ability to read a driver’s facial expressions and react accordingly.
In research being carried out by Ford and RWTH Aachen University in Germany, the American automaker can see a future where sophisticated microphones and in-car cameras will be able to detect and monitor a driver’s mood and perform certain functions accordingly.
For example, the vehicle may be able to learn what songs the driver would like to hear when they’re visibly stressed and even adjust the interior lighting to suit the driver’s mood.
Ford says that with its upcoming SYNC 3 in-car connectivity system, vehicles equipped with the technology will be well on their way to becoming personal assistants. It believes that within two years, voice control systems could say things like “You’re running low on your favourite chocolate and your favourite store has some in stock. Want to stop by and pick some up?”
What’s more, cameras that monitor a driver’s eye movements could set a navigation system automatically based on the driver simply glancing at their destination on a map. They could also answer phone calls by simply nodding their head.
According to senior lecturer at the University of York Dominic Watt, “Lots of people already love their cars, but with new in-car systems that learn and adapt, we can expect some seriously strong relationships to form. The car will soon be our assistant, travel companion and sympathetic ear, and you’ll be able to discuss everything and ask anything, to the point many of us might forget we’re even talking to a machine.”