SEAT and Orange partner on development and use of connected vehicles

SEAT and Orange Spain have entered into a strategic partnership to promote the development and use of connect vehicles by focussing on several work areas.

As part of the deal, the companies will focus on three primary areas: formulation of innovations for connected vehicles to enhance user experience; turn the car into the user’s second digital home by bringing digital home or office experience to the vehicle and launch a cross-company loyalty and frequent use programme to promote use of the new connectivity and mobility solutions (related to connected cars) rolled out by them in the market.

The partnership is not just confined to the formulation of digital applications for cars but both SEAT and Orange will work together to generate initiatives that encourage using the fresh functions. The loyalty programme is a result of these initiatives.

Under their efforts to enhance entertainment and leisure services for drivers and passengers, initially music, audiovisual and learning content will be included – without any compromise to the safety of the vehicle occupants.

Luis Santos, Orange Director of Innovation and New Digital Services for Spain, expressed confidence that “this strategic agreement with SEAT is a great step for Orange in its strategy of connected objects and Big Data and opens the door to innovations and new developments surrounding cars of the future, which will contribute to helping us achieve our goal of connecting our customers with what truly matters most to them.”

While inking the deal, Arantxa Alonso, Head of Business Development at SEAT, comments: “This partnership opens up a large collaborative space for both companies that are pursuing a common goal – promote the use of the connected car and make the car user’s experience easier and more efficient.”

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Empathic AI: The Next Generation of Vehicles Will Understand Your Emotions

Empathic_Vehicle-Sensum-3144x2089

Transportation will never be the same once our machines know how we feel.

We are all entering a wholesale, global disruption of the way people move from one place to another.  More than any other change in this sector, the one that is likely to have the most significant impact on human society is the rise of autonomous (i.e., self-driving) vehicles.

The transportation industry, historically dominated by a handful of large vehicle-manufacturing brands, is evolving into an ecosystem of ‘mobility services,’ underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI). A major step in the development of AI is to give it ‘empathy,’ allowing our physiological and emotional states to be observed and understood. This connection will mostly be achieved by connecting to wearable or remote sensors, the same way that fitness bands allow our physical state to be monitored.

By feeding this sensor data into AI systems, we can train them to know how we feel and how to respond appropriately. This kind of empathy can also be enhanced by giving AI its own artificial emotions, imbuing it with simulations of feelings.

Empathic technology will have no small effect on the mobility sector. How might an empathic vehicle look?

Safe Travels

There is already a growing body of research from top-tier auto companies into what kind of empathic interactions will protect drivers, passengers and everyone around them from harm. To investigate this, biometric sensors, cameras, and microphones are being used to detect:

  • Fatigue & drowsiness: e.g., monitoring head or eye movements, posture or heart/breathing rate.
  • Distraction: e.g., gaze detection to ensure the driver is watching the road.
  • Intoxication: e.g., using infrared optics or analyzing voice or breath.
  • Medical incidents: e.g., detecting a potential cardiac event from a wearable heart-rate sensor.

A Comfortable Journey

After ensuring the safety of the humans in the system, empathic tech can be employed to optimize the ride experience. There is a universe of auto-suppliers you’ve probably never heard of, who build all the components and systems that end up in the well-known vehicle brands. They are leading the way to a more empathic ride, with innovations such as:

  • Environmental controls: e.g., lighting, heating, AC, sound and olfactory output, customized to suit your current mood.
  • Physical controls: seat position, engine configuration, etc.
  • Humanising AI feedback: the virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri that are invading our homes and phones are also reaching into our vehicles. With empathic AI we can tailor their feedback to suit our preferred style of interaction.

An Entertaining Ride

Now that our customer is safe and comfortable, they can benefit from AI that knows how to push the right emotional buttons at the moment. This is particularly likely to apply to the onboard music and infotainment systems. Other subtle ways in which a vehicle could be designed to optimize the thrill of the ride include offering to increase the engine’s power output when the driver is feeling confident and happy.

The New Norms of Autonomous Society

An autonomous vehicle doesn’t exist in a bubble. Much of its intelligence is based on sensing its environment and making rapid judgments about how to act. Each vehicle will also be integrated with a global network of systems, able to share information ranging from weather forecasts to road obstructions. By connecting each vehicle to its neighbors and the wider world, we will see the emergence of a new type of ‘social’ structure with its own norms of behavior.

This AI-driven ‘society’ will involve interactions not just between the vehicles and their drivers or passengers, but also with onboard devices, nearby pedestrians, other vehicles, and their occupants, as well as surrounding infrastructure. The etiquette and rules of what the market calls ‘vehicle-to-everything’ (V2X) communications will establish themselves as we gradually let go of the wheel and hand our mobility needs over to ‘the machines.’

This mobility ecosystem is also likely to share data and processes with the rest of the AI in our lives, such as in our smartphones and home-automation systems. If coordinated correctly, this unified data architecture would allow empathic vehicles to know us much better, behaving ever more like a trusted friend.

This is not just a technological problem; it’s a monumental user-experience challenge too. Gradually increasing the empathic capability of the system will support the evolution of the transport experience towards one that is not only safe and comfortable but also delightful.

The future of mobility is emotional.

Editor Note & Disclaimer: The author is a member of the Sensum team, which is an alumnus of our ReadWrite Labs accelerator program. 

The post Empathic AI: The Next Generation of Vehicles Will Understand Your Emotions appeared first on ReadWrite.

ReadWrite

Navigant Research assesses autonomous vehicles vendors – with Tesla bottom of the pile

The verdict is in from Navigant Research on the vendors in the automated driving systems space – and it’s bad news for Tesla.

A total of eight companies made the leaders segment in the analyst firm’s latest offering, with General Motors at the front – but Tesla was ranked dead last for execution, and not much better for strategy.

Alongside GM in the winners’ enclosure were, in alphabetical order, Aptiv, BMW-Intel-FCA, Daimler-Bosch, Ford, Volkswagen and Waymo, with the alliance between Renault and Nissan on the border between leader and contender. Among the list of challengers, alongside Tesla, were Apple, Honda, and Uber.

The report details a fascinating mix between the technology firms and the automotive vendors, each trying to grab their slice of the market, a fact Navigant acknowledges. “The cost and complexity of developing and deploying automated driving technologies have driven numerous new partnerships and acquisitions to help achieve scale more rapidly,” the company notes.

“OEMs and suppliers have recognised the threats to their traditional business models and are working aggressively to leverage the strengths they have to develop new revenue streams,” Navigant adds. “New entrants into the field are recognising the challenges of establishing manufacturing and distribution infrastructure and are increasingly forming partnerships with incumbents to leverage the strengths that each bring to the challenge.”

The partnerships between BMW, Intel, Mobileye – the latter bought by Intel last year – and Fiat Chrysler – have evidently borne fruit. Intel said in May that the company had “unwavering confidence” in the success of its driverless initiative, with SVP Doug Davis saying he postponed his retirement to take on the challenge.

You can find out more about the report here.

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Cubic Telecom to develop advanced in-car services for next generation vehicles

Cubic Telecom to develop advanced in-car services for next generation vehicles

Cubic Telecom to develop advanced in-car services for next generation vehicles

Using the cutting-edge application processing and wireless capabilities of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ automotive modems, Cubic aims to offer a new advanced connectivity management solution to aid vehicle manufacturers, and content and system providers, to future-proof their products and technologies over the lifetime of the vehicle.

The solution is designed to support automakers with over-the-air feature updates and applications, network and vehicle analytics, and the ability to help drive connected vehicle services worldwide – using a single architecture that takes advantage of multiple wireless operator deployments across regions. The connectivity management solution has been optimized and showcased using a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X16 Gigabit LTE modem.

Barry Napier, CEO of Cubic Telecom, said:
“Qualcomm Technologies has been a steadfast supporter of Cubic Telecom and we are delighted to move our working relationship forward to offer an innovative solution to the automotive industry.”

“Joining forces with the leading semiconductor company in telematics means that our new Cubic Telecom’s solution can become widely available to automotive customers in the near future.”

“Cars are now platforms for innovation, new business models and services, and connectivity is the foundation,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Cubic Telecom’s unique connectivity management solution complements our automotive platform to empower automakers with the ability to provide connected car services on a global scale, and the flexibility to work with multiple network operators per region.”

A demonstration of Cubic’s new connectivity management solution is planned to be exhibited during CES® 2018 at the Qualcomm Technologies’ automotive booth #5616.

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