TOKYO – A unit of Honda Motor Co said Thursday that it plans to start a joint
project with Softbank Group Corp to study applications of Softbank’s
“emotion engine” artificial intelligence technology for automobiles, Japan’s
Jiji Press reported.
Honda R&D Co, based in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, and Softbank hope to
develop vehicles that interact with drivers, aiming to add value to vehicles and
have owners feel the joy of driving and love their cars more.
The emotion engine, developed by Cocoro SB Corp, a unit of Softbank, is
used in the Pepper humanoid robot.
The system would allow vehicles to infer the drivers’ feelings from their
facial expressions and language using sensors and cameras.
Among envisaged features of such interactive vehicles are warning against
speeding and automatic selection of music and radio programmes.
The two firms will promote the development of the technology at an AI
research centre in Tokyo that Honda plans to establish in September.
Honda does not know at present when the emotion engine-based vehicle
technology will be put into practical use, a company official said.