PANDA: Parental Affective Natural Driver Assistant


Drivers spend a significant amount of time multi-tasking while they are behind the wheel, especially parent drivers that attend to child passengers. These dangerous behaviors, particularly texting while driving, can lead to distractions and ultimately to accidents. Many in-car interfaces do not assist the driver with the task of entertaining the passengers. In a collaboration with Volkswagen/Audi and the SENSEable City Lab, we are developing PANDA (parental affective natural driver assistant), a robotic driver-vehicle interface that acts as a sociable partner and assists parent drivers. PANDA elicits facial expressions for engaging social interaction with the driver and passengers. PANDA uses car entertainment to entertain and engage the children in educational games while in the car and frees the parent to focus on the task of driving.