LONDON: Chances are you either love or hate your car – and soon the feeling could be mutual. Japanese automaker Honda will showcase a concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show next month that is capable of understanding the driver’s emotions and developing emotions of its own, the company announced this week. The company provided few details as to how the technology will work or alter the driving experience. But we do know that the concept car, called the NeuV, is being touted as an automated electric vehicle that includes an “emotion engine”. That’s the name for artificial intelligence that Honda says will “enable machines to artificially generate their own emotions”.
The “emotion engine” technology comes out of a partnership that Honda and Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank revealed this year. The two paired up to design AI technology that allows the car to have conversations with its driver and gauge his or her emotions, Honda said in a news release. Honda expects the car will “grow up” with its driver and share in his or her experiences, prompting the driver to feel the car “has become a good partner and thus form a stronger emotional attachment toward it”. (That could complicate matters when it comes time to trade in, but no one ever said breakups are easy.) Honda did not provide a timetable for when, or if, the NeuV will be sold to consumers. A spokesman declined to comment beyond the company’s news release.