Introducing AutoQ: An In-Cabin Digital Companion

Jul 18, 2019

We’ve always felt a personal connection to our cars. We name them, we learn their quirks, and we spend a significant amount of time with them (about four and a half years of your life!!). Today, this relationship is rapidly evolving. In twenty years we’ve gone from hand-crank windows to basic autonomous driving features. As our lives have become more enabled by technology, the way we interact with our car has as well – and here at Intuition Robotics, we are paving the way for a completely new – and entirely personal – automotive user experience. 

Introducing AutoQ: an in-cabin digital companion powered by Intuition Robotics’ cognitive AI technology. With AutoQ, you no longer have to learn how to use your car – your car learns how to interact with you.

 A new in-car experience

Cars today are exponentially more advanced than ever before. The features that exist today – autonomous driving abilities like self-parking and lane assistance, as well as in-vehicle screen interfaces – are something out of a science fiction film. And yet, when you get into a new car, the experience is not drastically different than it was 50 years ago; the dashboard icons, the buttons and knobs, are still stuck in the past.

How many times has a dashboard light turned on and your first thought is, “What the heck does that light mean?!” Or you get into a rental, only to find a series of miscellaneous extra buttons, and you have no idea what they do (or worse: when you’ve had your car for years and there are still buttons that you’ve never touched).

The existing paradigm around technology is that it is our job as the consumer to learn how to use it. What we’re arguing is that this is wrong. Technology can and should show us the best way to utilize it. And more importantly, it should have the ability to learn enough about you to show you in a hyper-personal way. For your car, this means educating you in real time as to the best way to operate your vehicle, giving you the tools to be the best driver possible.

So what does this look like? Have a look at the video below to check out some real-life scenarios in which AutoQ can improve your in-car experience:

AutoQ utilizes your car’s design with its existing technologies and interfaces to create an integrated and comprehensive user experience. In a car powered by AutoQ, there is no question as to how to optimize your vehicle: the car is doing the work for you! Maybe this means setting the mood after a stressful day, with the right music, temperature and seat positioning. Or perhaps your car communicates that, despite your battery being half-charged, you are approaching the last charging station for a long stretch of highway and re-directs you to make a stop. In proactively communicating and adapting for each person, AutoQ makes the in-car experience seamless and more enjoyable.

Cars with personality

Taking this dialogue one step further – imagine if you get into your car and had to listen to the same prompts and the same information every day. After a short time, you’d probably get pretty annoyed! Every person is different; we all have unique personalities, and different styles of interaction. In the same way we expect our interactions with other people to be authentic and personal, we’re allowed to expect the same standard of interaction from technology.

And this is a major opportunity for car brands! Many of us have loyalty to car brands – perhaps because of the way they drive, or the way they look, but in the end, the differentiation is relatively minimal. But what if your car could differentiate itself not only from its parts, but from its distinct personality? What if you could actually build, to an extent, a personal relationship with your car – your own personal KITT from Knight Rider.

The more you interact with your car, the more AutoQ gets to know you and personalizes your experience. For brands, this also means giving a voice and a personality to the car itself: build a character that can engage with you in more dynamic ways. The call-and-response model of interaction is dead and buried. If you ask a question to a human driver, the answer is not going to be formulaic and repetitive; now, when you ask your car a question, you can expect the same quality and thoughtfulness in its response. This means better engagement and a more personal bond with your car, and a next level experience opportunity for car brands.

Driving us into the future

As we move closer to fully autonomous cars, there needs to be an evolution in user experience that builds trust between the car and its passengers. When you hire a professional driver, they will often tell you which way they are going, and you can ask questions to stay informed during your drive. These interactions are not only possible, but the technology already exists in most new vehicles to enable them. With AutoQ, we’re bridging the gap between a smart car and a truly intelligent one.

The transition towards fully autonomous vehicles is going to require education – teaching drivers how to use these new features – as well as building trust with all passengers in the car. Relinquishing control of the wheel is an intimidating ask, especially if the car isn’t telling you what it’s doing! And with software updates, your car is going to evolve and improve the more you use it.

AutoQ will effectively communicate these changes, keep you informed, and give you a sense of comfort – allowing you to relax as your car takes more and more control of your driving experience. This interaction tool is going to be critical for mass adoption. In the end, we are putting our lives into the hands of our cars – and having the ability to organically dialogue with this technology and maintain some sense of control will make the process much more positive and enjoyable. 

In twenty years we have gone from simply naming our cars to having a personal dialogue with them. This is the future of driving. After all, when our cars can show us how to use them, we get the most out of driving – and become better drivers in the process.  

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