THE DETROIT NEWS, 22 FEBRUARY 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:
Ford wants the self-driving cars of the future to be better listeners and observers: It’s aiming to build vehicles that pick up on the smallest changes in drivers’ vocal inflections and facial expressions, and adapt the drive accordingly.
The company is partnering with a German technology university to create advanced in-car microphone and camera systems. Those systems could help vehicles learn what songs a driver likes; adjust the cockpit’s ambient lighting fit the mood or activity — even know when the driver is in need of a good joke.
The team at RWTH Aachen University also will work on systems that follow gestures or eye movements that will allow drivers to answer calls or adjust the air conditioner without speaking or touching a surface, Ford announced Tuesday.