If Bond had a…Yep, it’d probably be the ‘AIDA’.

In need of something a little bit more intuitive than your everyday GPS system?

Well, MIT researchers and designers in partnership with Volkswagen’s luxury Audi brand have developed a system called the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA) that learns your driving habits to the point that it’ll start mapping out a detour for your 6 a.m. workout if there’s an accident without you inputing any info.

If it sounds like a scene from a James Bond flick, it’s with good reason.

“When it merges knowledge about the city with an understanding of the driver’s priorities and needs, AIDA can make important inferences,” explains Assaf Biderman, associate director of the SENSEable City Lab, which helped to develop the system. “Within a week AIDA will have figured out your home and work location.

“Soon afterwards the system will be able to direct you to your preferred grocery store, suggesting a route that avoids a street fair-induced traffic jam. On the way AIDA might recommend a stop to fill up your tank, upon noticing that you are getting low on gas,” says Biderman. “

The system uses sensors and mobile computers to make sense of these great amounts of data, harnessing our personal electronic devices as tools for monitoring behavior.

AIDA communicates with the driver through a small robot embedded in the dashboard: “AIDA builds on our long experience in building sociable robots,” explains professor Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. “We are developing AIDA to read the driver’s mood from facial expression and other cues and respond in a socially appropriate and informative way.”

AIDA communicates in a very immediate way, with the seamlessness of a smile or the blink of an eye. Over time, the project envisions that a kind of symbiotic relationship develops between the driver and AIDA, whereby both parties learn from each other and establish an affective bond.

To identify the set of goals the driver would like to achieve, AIDA analyses the driver’s mobility patterns, keeping track of common routes and destinations. AIDA draws on an understanding of the city beyond what can be seen through the windshield, incorporating real-time event information and knowledge of environmental conditions, as well as commercial activity, tourist attractions, and residential areas.

AIDA can also help you achieve more energy efficiency and safer behavior.

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