Towards Leveraging the Driver's Mobile Device for an Intelligent, Sociable In-Car Robotic Assistant

K. Williams, J. Peters, C. Breazeal


This paper presents AIDA (Affective Intelligent Driving Agent), a social robot that acts as a friendly, in-car companion. AIDA is designed to use the driver’s mobile device as its face. The phone displays facial expressions and is the main computational unit to manage information presented to the driver. We conducted an experiment in which participants were placed in a mock in-car environment and completed driving tasks while stress-inducing phone and vehicle notifications occurred throughout the interaction. Users performed the task with the help of: 1) a smartphone, 2) the AIDA persona with the phone mounted on a static dock, or 3) the AIDA persona attached to a robot. Results revealed that AIDA users felt less stressed throughout the interaction, performed vehicle safety precautions more often, and felt more companionship with AIDA as compared to smartphone users. Further, participants developed a deeper bond with AIDA as a social robot compared to AIDA as a static, expressive agent.

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