Ford is set to reveal more clever tech at this year’s Mobile World Congress.
Ford has revealed it’s working on facial-recognition software that will be able to tell what mood you’re in and cheer you up by providing a sympathetic ear or even playing your favourite music.
With nearly 90 percent of all new cars expected to offer voice recognition within the next five years, Ford says the next step could be cars picking up on tiny changes in facial expressions or picking up on modulations and inflections in our speaking voice. Yes - your car will be able to understand your mood within moments of getting in it.
“Lots of people already love their cars, but with new in-car systems that learn and adapt, we can expect some seriously strong relationships to form,” said Dominic Watt, senior lecturer, Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York.
Sounds a trifle worrying, perhaps.
“The car will soon be our assistant, travel companion and sympathetic ear,” he adds. “You’ll be able to discuss everything and ask anything, to the point many of us might forget we’re even talking to a machine.”
Using sophisticated microphones and in-car cameras, your car could learn which songs to play depending on what mood you’re in - and even when it’s best just to remain quiet. It could go a step further by tweaking interior lighting to reflect your mood.
The car manufacturer is set to reveal its latest developments in mobility and connectivity at next week’s Mobile World Congress tech event in Barcelona, but has said that it’s partnered with RWTH Aachen University to carry out research using multiple microphones to improve speech processing and reduce the effect of outside noise and potential disruptions.
Future voice-control systems could provide prompts such as, “Would you like to order flowers for your mum for Mothers’ Day?” “Shall I choose a less congested but slower route home?” and “You’re running low on your favourite chocolate and your favourite store has some in stock. Want to stop by and pick some up?”
Drivers will also be able to answer calls by nodding their head or adjust the volume using ‘short twisting motions’ (no, we’re not sure either) and even set the destination in the sat-nav by glancing at the location on a map.
Ford will be at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress next week revealing its latest advances in mobility and connectivity. At last year’s show, the car manufacturer revealed it had partnered with BP in Europe to allow drivers to pay for fuel using their phone - but in the future, it could allow autonomous cars to refuel by themselves.