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By 9 July 2019 | Categories: news

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Here’s something that might alleviate the stress of driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Jaguar Land Rover is researching new artificial intelligence (AI) technology to understand our state of mind while driving – and adjust cabin settings to improve driver wellbeing.

The technology uses a driver-facing camera and biometric sensing to monitor and evaluate the driver’s mood. As it tracks changes to your face it adapts a host of cabin features, including the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, media and ambient lighting to help tackle stress. Reports suggest 74% of us admit to feeling stressed or overwhelmed every day, and we can imagine this is even higher when stuck on the N1.

Jaguar Land Rover notes the mood-detection system will use the latest AI techniques to continually adapt to nuances in the driver’s facial expressions and implement appropriate settings automatically. In time the system will learn a driver’s preference and make increasingly tailored adjustments.

Personalisation settings could include changing the ambient lighting to calming colours if the system detects the driver is under stress, selecting a favourite playlist if signs of weariness are identified, and lowering the temperature in response to yawning or other signs of tiring. Nothing was said about having your own range of 007 ‘elimination’ weaponry pop up for when dealing with inconsiderate drivers, perhaps the only effective way to help drop stress levels.

Jaguar Land Rover is also trialling similar technology for rear passengers, with a camera mounted in the headrest. If the system detects signs of tiredness, it could dim the lights, tint the windows and raise the temperature in the back, to help an occupant get to sleep.

Mood-detection software is the next-generation of Jaguar Land Rover’s existing driver tracking technology. The Driver Condition Monitor, which is capable of detecting if a driver is starting to feel drowsy and will give an early warning to take a break, is available on all Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover chief medical ffficer, said: “As we move towards a self-driving future, the emphasis for us remains as much on the driver as it ever has. By taking a holistic approach to the individual driver, and implementing much of what we’ve learnt from the advances in research around personal wellbeing over the last 10 or 15 years, we can make sure our customers remain comfortable, engaged and alert behind the wheel in all driving scenarios, even monotonous motorway journeys.”

The new mood–detection system is one of a suite of technologies that Jaguar Land Rover is exploring as part of its ‘tranquil sanctuary’ vision to improve the driving experience. Designed to create a sanctuary inside each of its luxury vehicles, the manufacturer is testing a wide range of driver and passenger wellbeing features, to ensure occupants are as comfortable as possible whilst ensuring the driver remains mindful, alert and in control.

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