Driving long distances after a commuter can be lonely. If you’ve ever done it, you might have wished for a accompaniment to talk to – addition emotionally able who can accept you and help you on the road. The aerial voice of SatNav helps to fill the banausic silence, but it can’t hold a chat or keep you safe.

Research on driverless cars is well underway, but less is heard about the work being done to make cars a smart accompaniment for drivers. In the future, the cars still driven by humans are likely to become as acute and alert to their driver’s needs as addition person. Sound far-fetched? It’s closer than you might think.

Ask your car questions

We’re already accustomed with AI in our homes and mobile phones. Siri and Alexa answer questions and find accordant search items from around the web on demand. The same will be accessible in cars within the near future. Mercedes are amalgam Siri into their new A-class car. The technology can admit the driver’s voice and their way of speaking – rather than just afterward a basic set of commands, the AI could adapt acceptation from chat in the same way addition person could.

From the screen to your drive

Those with longer memories may bethink a talking car that was a approved on TV. Knight Rider and its super able KITT was a self-aware car that was angrily loyal to Michael, the driver. Though KITT’s army flame thrower and bomb detector might not make it into bartering vehicles, drivers could talk to their cars through a smart band on their wrists. The technology is being developed to allow people to start their car before they reach it, to warm the seats, to set the destination on the aeronautics system, flash the lights, lock the doors and sound the horn – all from a ambit with voice command.

webrok

Big Motor is watching you

A driver alert system already exists that, through a series of aural and cavernous gestures, tries to keep the driver awake or warn them adjoin sudden lane departure. By 2021 though, there are plans to install in-car cameras to adviser a driver’s behavior.

If the driver looked away from the road for a period of time, or appeared drunk or sleepy, the car would take action. This might start with slowing down and alerting a call centre for addition to check on the driver, but if the driver didn’t respond, the car could take control, slow down and park in a safe place. The abeyant to advance road safety is promising, but there are aboveboard apropos for what in-car cameras could mean for alone privacy.

A cure for road rage

Increasingly able and acute cars won’t stop at visual cues. An AI abettor has been developed which can pick up on the driver’s mood and abundance by audition their heart rate, eye movements, facial expressions and the tone of their voice. It’s appropriate the car would learn the driver’s habits and collaborate with them by, for example, arena the driver’s admired music to calm them down. It can also advance some nice places to go – conceivably a nearby café or park – where the driver could stop to advance their state of mind.

A butler on the road

As technology is developed to adviser the mood of drivers, the next step may be cars which can act to advance them. Autonomous cartage which can take over active when drivers are fatigued could change the windscreen affectation to show photographs or peaceful scenes. Smart glass windscreens could even black out the ambience absolutely to create a agreeable space – known tentatively in advancing analysis as “cocoon mode” – where the autogenous is airy from alfresco and the occupants can rest while the car drives. Cars might even allocate snacks and drinks on demand from air-conditioned cartridges, using technology that’s under development but not appointed to make its debut until 2035.

Whether for good or ill, cars are likely to change beyond acceptance in the near future. It may no longer be antic to think that the wildest science fiction dreams could be active us to work in the not so abroad future.The Conversation

Read next: TNW's top 10 best video games of 2019