Human Conversation with the Car of the Future

Cars can hear us, but they cannot listen. They can understand the words, but they do not “get” the music, the emotions – how humans feel, what they mean and what they really care about. They miss out on human’s energy, they are clueless about their desperation, blinded to human’s most basic emotions and craving. So, how will humans interact with the car of the future?

This should be a major concern since on average people spent 4.3 whole years in a car, mostly alone and much of it stuck in traffic. Would anyone – in his right mind – ever spend more than four years with someone that had absolutely zero Emotional Intelligence (also known as EQ)?

Most would say “of course not” (normally accompanied with an exclamation mark, sometimes two) and yet when it comes to people’s most emotional means of transportation they choose to ignore the fact that their passion towards their vehicles is a strictly one-sided affair.

Technology: Interaction between human and the car

Like the always-on features gaining popularity in some cutting edge personal devices, cars are perfectly capable of receiving unbelievable amount of conversation. Many think this is only have to do with the simple and short voice-based commands people use to activate certain features in their cars, but the fact is most of the on-board conversation has nothing to do with simple voice commanding.

In a an extensive research released by the UN World Health Organization in 2011 observers witnessed 11 percent of Americans using cellphones in their car at any given time. The numbers had only grown since, the emotions humans convey in those conversations however remain the same. That is being said also of the conversations people hold with their passengers and occasionally with other fellow motorists (more so if they happen to be driving in a Mediterranean country).

Cars are simply surrounded by human voice – voice full of passion, anger, happiness, loneliness and desire – and at the same time are as handicapped as the virtual assistants on smartphones. Many experts say that first we need those personal assistants to understand complex words and syntax. That is just not true. We first need to make them listen!

The voice is there – in on-board phone chats and peer conversations. Once cars (and virtual personal assistants) understand our existing emotions only then can they start to understand us and expect – in return – a meaningful conversation. A conversation that goes beyond simple commands.

How would you talk to a car that truly understands you? Share your opinions in the comment section.



Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

How Can Understanding Emotions Change the Way People Commute?

Equipping personal transportation devices with understanding emotions is about to change the way people spend their time moving around, and push their emotional bond with their vehicles to new levels.

The road is emotional. We sing praise of it. Write poems about it. Take pictures of it. Draw it on canvases and burn it into the deepest recesses of our memory. Epic or prosaic, exceptional or mundane, exuberating or depressing – whether it is an exotic road-trip or a simple Monday morning commute – the road defines us and shapes our emotions. For many, the road is the one of their first childhood memories.

That is probably one of the reasons people hold such a strong emotional bond to their transportation devices – according to a survey from 2007 about 60 percent of Americans have conversations with their cars. Whether a high-end vehicle, a scooter, a cheap pair of beat-up bicycles or an old horse – the things that move us physically do the same also emotionally.

Speaking of horses, unlike these old-time transportation animals, modern age cars know a lot about us – what people do, where they are, who they are with, and even what they are likely to do next, but they do not know something every horse does. How people feel.

Yes, when it comes to emotions, modern day vehicles are still running blind, but that is about to change.

Connection between emotion analytics and transportation devices

Emotions Analytics – the ability to quantify raw human emotions to data machines can understand and process is rapidly changing the way today’s call center agents assist customers, market research firms and global brands understand consumers’ attitude to products and services, and how wearable devices and consumer apps quantify people’s well-being.

The data is all there – raw vocal intonations, facial expressions and body language all carry the patterns of human emotions. As the saying goes “It is not what you say, but HOW you say it” and indeed non-linguistic queues are the ones transmitting how humans feel and what they mean.

Correctly decoding them opens a wide window into new dimensions of possibilities. Last May, the leaders of the nascent Emotions Analytics industry gathered for the very first time in a joint conference of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University to discuss how understanding emotions can change the world.

Introducing emotions to personal transportation devices – via existing on-board input devices such as microphones and cameras – vehicles can now adapt themselves to a human’s constantly changing emotional state. An emotionally-aware car can pick the right radio station and ambiance, notify us when people are “road raging” and change the tolerances of their safety systems depending on the level of emotional control.

Most of all, emotionally capable vehicles can finally adapt to us and reciprocate the existing emotional bond with them by gradually building an understanding of who people really are.

What sort of relationship do you have with your personal vehicles? Share your opinion in our comment section.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.