A development kit for Renesas Electronics' R-Car takes advantage of an artificial sensibility and intelligence technology to respond to the driver's needs based on their emotions.

The kit includes cocoro SB's emotion engine, which uses a sensibility technology to recognise emotional states such as confidence or uncertainty based on the speech of the driver. The car’s response to the driver’s emotional state is displayed by a new driver-attentive user interface (UI) implemented in the Renesas R-Car system-on-chip (SoC). Since it is possible for the car to understand the driver’s words and emotional state, it can provide the appropriate response that ensures optimal driver safety, according to Renesas.

Because the technology is linked to artificial intelligence-based machine learning, it is possible for the car to learn from conversations with the driver, enabling it to transform into a car that is capable of providing the best response to the driver.

20170721_EDNA_Renesas_emotion-engine_01 (cr) Figure 1: Verbal emotion recognition engine (Source: cocoro SB)

Renesas said the driver's emotional state, facial expression and eyesight direction are key information that combines with the driver's vital signs to improve the car and driver interface, placing drivers closer to the era of self-driving cars. For example, if the car can recognise the driver is experiencing an uneasy emotional state, even if he or she has verbally accepted the switch to hands free autonomous-driving mode, it is possible for the car to ask the driver “would you prefer to continue driving and not switch to autonomous-driving mode for now?"

20170721_EDNA_Renesas_emotion-engine_02 (cr) Figure 2: Emotion generation technology (Source: cocoro SB)

Understanding the driver’s emotions also enables the car to control vehicle speed according to how the driver is feeling while driving at night in autonomous-driving mode, according to the company.

Renesas plans to release the development kit later this year.