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Drivers could soon select routes based on mood

Traffic congestion roads 3x2

Technology to design route planning based on a traveller’s cognitive state is among the 8,000 patents registered by IBM last year.

The company has developed a method for planning a trip which is based on the driver’s state of mind in order to minimise risk for the driver. For example if a traveller has had a long day or is feeling easily overwhelmed, the system could suggest the least stressful route home.

The driver would have a set of cognitive preferences, depending on which a computer programme would then determine a preferential route. The different routes would each have a different cognitive load associated with them, which the technology would align with the traveller.

”The ability to apply machine learning to current information we all have in our smart phones about our day already exists in order to ascertain level and quality of various cognitive states (fatigue, attention, reaction time, stress, etc.). For example, looking at calendar information, typing behavior, and speech analysis are all doable. Translating this into an estimated driving performance given different routes can also be done based on training a model and certain assumptions about the route based on weather, traffic, and things about the road,” the patent’s inventor and IBM master inventor, James Kozloski, told New Civil Engineer.

Kozloski added that in the future, with inventions such as this and with automation and self-driving options, roads will become more of a managed resource than they are now, much like the way a power grid or telephone network is carefully managed.

”The management won’t appear restrictive to the average user of the road, but will mean, for example, the likelihood of getting caught up in a self-driving caravan of long haul tractor-trailers will be minimized. In the case of this invention, you may even find yourself on the scenic route because that’s what’s best for your state-of-mind,” he added.

The patent is one of more than 2,700 related to artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and cloud computing, which IBM inventors filed last year.

IBM’s chairman, president and chief executive Ginni Rometty said: “Leading the world in innovation for 24 years in a row is a result of IBM’s unmatched commitment to innovation and R&D – reflected in this year’s new US patent record, breaking the 8,000 barrier for the first time.”


Readers' comments (1)

  • With all due respect, I assume Ms Rommetty has never lived in a congested country, where there are few alternative routes to travel. this becomes clear when there is an accident on the motorway and ALL adjacent roads become gridlocked.

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