As the auto landscape continues to shift into self-driving cars and AI assistants, the next step (apparently for auto and every other product and service-based company) is to move into the world of wellness.
Kia and Mercedes are setting out to change the consumer experience using AI to detect passengers’ emotions and make environmental to relax the driver en route. Kia debuted an experimental concept car that detects the emotional state of the passengers that will then deploy mood-lifting features such as lights and scents based on what mood the passenger is in. This tech was developed with Affectiva, a tech startup developing emotion and object detecting AI for monitoring vehicle passengers based on facial expressions.
The Mercedes prototypes also include the scent feature, but also include a music feature to combat people falling asleep at the wheel. The driver can also connect a fitness tracker to the car, receiving automatic adjustments to in-car environments according to their stress levels and other physiological metrics.
Why It’s Hot:
In theory, it’s a great concept as cars are a very personal, a 1 on 1 (most of the time) experience and quite possibly the one time of the day when the driver is “stuck” in one place until they’ve reached their destination. It is also pretty low risk (unless someone is allergic to a scent) with a potentially high reward. This also raised a few questions. Is it customization in anyway? Can users put their own scents in? Will the AI even work? Can users edit the feature if the car gets the mood wrong? Although there are a few questions that need to be answered, it seems quite feasible compared to other concepts and initiatives auto manufactures are pushing towards.