Thinking Tech

Video: smart navigation system turns car dashboard into interactive 3-D display

Posting in Technology

AIDA can automatically sense where a driver is headed and use that information to advise on how to get there quickly.

A couple years back, a research team made up of tech geniuses at MIT gave everyone a sneak peak at a project they hoped would revolutionize the driving experience.

AIDA, a highly intuitive navigation technology, can sense where a driver is headed and use that information to advise on how to get there quickly or inform the person of places nearby that may be of particular interest.

For the most part, the dash-mounted robot was cleverly conceived, except that it developed inferences about your preferred destinations and routes by probing and analyzing your facial expressions -- which can kind of creep some people out. It also exhibited the typical herky-jerky robo-movements that can be pretty distracting when you're trying to keep your eyes on the road. Since then, the researchers have scraped the device and replaced it with a system that turns the car's dashboard into a real-time interactive 3-D driving map.

However, the concept behind the rebooted AIDA 2.0 can be viewed as either more intrusive or a really neat way to grab some nachos on the way home from work since the entire dashboard area -- which includes the instrument panel, car radio and rear view mirrors -- is transformed into a super-sized Garmin.

The system is controlled using hand gestures, and like the robot version, it uses onboard sensors to automatically learn an individual's driving patterns all the while gathering information on local businesses, shopping districts, tourist and residential areas, as well as real-time road conditions like traffic jams. All this is done so that AIDA can tell drivers what they want to know when they need to know it.

Below are the demos of the earlier and newer versions of AIDA. Which do you prefer? Or would you rather stick to a less flashier standard GPS device?

AIDA Robot demo:

AIDA 2.0 demo:

Image: MIT

Related on SmartPlanet:

Share this

Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure