iNAGO Corporation, an artificial intelligence (AI) specialist, and automotive component manufacturer ABC Technologies are to partner on the creation of a fully interactive and intelligent in-car experience.
One of the first projects of the collaboration will be to address drivers’ collective understanding of how their car works, focusing on the functionality of certain features. The companies intend to announce what they claim to be the next generation of smart automotive interior, which integrates an intelligent conversational assistant with smart interior components, for a seamless, safe and fully interactive in-car experience.
The companies have identified a trend for smart cockpits and digital screens in the automotive industry, and say that it is important to understand that the interaction between user and vehicle does not end with the screen. It is with the entire vehicle experience, they say, from the engine to the interior. Everything that users interact with in the car needs to work together to provide a coordinated, intelligent and intuitive experience.
Research has shown that drivers’ lack of understanding on how to use advanced driver assistive systems (ADAS) or autonomous features can cause them to be unused, or even unsafe. The companies say that in order for the next generation of vehicles to provide the true value of new features and services, communication with drivers and passengers will be critical. Preliminary research carried out by Dr Francesco Biondi PhD at the University of Windsor, Ontario, showed that the use of a conversational assistant that informs occupants on vehicle features makes 90% of users feel more knowledgeable about vehicle functions.
iNAGO has been working for several years to create an assistant technology that enables intuitive conversational interaction. Now, the next generation of their netpeople assistant platform allows auto makers to create their own intelligent assistant that delivers not only services, but is fully knowledgeable about the functionality of the vehicle. The assistant uses AI to personalize the experience for each unique user and allows occupants to speak naturally to interact with the vehicle’s information and control, internet content and services, and OEM specific services.
During development iNAGO realized that although a conversational assistant provides a safer and simpler experience, it also needs to be deeply integrated into the vehicle functionality and go beyond the traditional display to provide a holistic and complete experience.
“Most development teams are either focused on the physical cockpit or infotainment unit, but the next generation will be an integrated ecosystem of the hardware, software and physical components working together to interact with users in the car,” said Ron Di Carlantonio, founder and CEO of iNAGO, “And that will not only make the user experience better, but will build that critical communication channel between OEM and their customers.”
ABC Technologies has been creating the next generation of smart components that are able to sense, calculate and respond. They share iNAGO’s vision to integrate the digital interface with the physical interface, coordinated by an AI core to continuously learn, improve and provide the ultimate personal experience. ABC brings to the table state-of-the-art design, development and production of plastic automotive systems and components that allows full integration with OEMs worldwide. Understanding the need to transform physical parts into smart interiors led to ABC partnering with iNAGO to make that a reality.
“We are making components that are lighter, safer and now smarter,” said Sean Sanjabi, ABC Technologies’ manager of the Advanced Product Development Team. “As a Canadian AI tech company, iNAGO allows us to design our components that are deeply integrated into vehicle data and systems and interact directly with users through a whole new medium – voice.”
The partnership announcement is part of the government of Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) program to actively support companies that are innovating in these sectors, to bring together the strength in Ontario’s manufacturing industry with its growing AI technology sector to build better platforms for the automotive industry.