It’s a concept that either sounds strange or fascinating depending on who you ask: a car that can feel human emotions. It’s a claim that Honda has made about their concept car that’s going to be shown in next year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
In a press release on Honda’s website, the automotive company says the theme for their participation in the CES will be “Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem.” Honda says it is exploring more interactive and immersive experiences for passenger vehicles.
The centerpiece of their exhibit, and the culmination of this theme, will be the company’s new concept car called “NeuV.” It’s a concept automated EV commuter vehicle equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) called ’emotion engine.’ They go on to explain that the emotion engine is a group of AI technologies that allow the vehicle to generate artificial emotions.
At first glance, an emotional AI sounds unnecessary and even asinine. However, the concept Honda is exploring is a new aspect of AI that assists drivers. Recently, AI has been used to assist drivers physically, by enabling them to take over a driver of a car.
This is extremely helpful in lowering a driver’s fatigue when operating a vehicle for long periods of time and for long distances, as Tesla’s autopilot feature demonstrates. It has even been used in the trucking industry where drivers are often faced with the exhausting job of hauling products across the country.
Honda hasn’t yet released details on what the “emotion engine’ will actually do, or its place in the vehicle, but it’s not hard to imagine what it could do. For example, it could pull up weather data from the internet and announce the results to the driver in a cheery voice. How the driver will react would depend on the person, but having an AI car companion cheer you on while driving is an amusing thought.