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Kia AI tailors vehicle interiors to passengers’ emotions

It’s showing off the AI-based R.E.A.D. System at CES.

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Kia is preparing for a future with autonomous cars and at CES it will be showing off its Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving System, or R.E.A.D. The company says its AI-based system can adapt vehicle interiors to a passenger's emotional state by using sensors to monitor their facial expressions, heart rate and electrodermal activity. Based on its readings, the R.E.A.D. System personalizes the cabin interior, taking into account all five senses. Part of the system also includes music-response vibration seats, which match seat vibrations to the frequencies of whatever music is being played in the cabin. The seats can also provide massages and haptic alerts connected to the vehicle's driver-assist system.

Additionally, Kia will be revealing V-Touch -- gesture control technology that uses a 3D camera to track eye and finger motions and allows riders to manage in-car features like lighting, air-conditioning and entertainment systems without the use of physical buttons or touchscreens.

Kia will demonstrate this technology -- as well as a four-wheel electric cycle SEED Car concept -- at CES with one-person, two-person and four-person cockpits. "Kia considers the interactive cabin a focal point for future mobility, and the R.E.A.D. System represents a convergence of cutting-edge vehicle control technology and AI-based emotional intelligence," Hyundai Motor Group's head of research and development, Albert Biermann, said in a statement. "The system enables continuous communication between driver and vehicle through the unspoken language of 'feeling', thereby providing an optimal, human-sense oriented space for the driver in real-time"

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