Car users all over the world are slowly but steadily turning away from the idea of car ownership and are more than willing to explore mobility options such as car sharing. According to a study conducted by ABI Research, robotic car sharing will be the preferred option for as many as 400 million people by the year 2030.
Most of these users are likely motivated to embrace these alternatives for affordable transportation as well as greater vehicle utilization. Unfortunately, this may lead to a circumstance of commoditization that makes the experience of riding in a vehicle impersonal. Although minor adjustments where music and seat preferences are concerned may improve user comfort, the overall experience will be far from real personalization or customization.
However attractive a ride sharing future is and however much momentum is gathering for this techtonic shift in the industry, it does not arrive without trade offs. Whereas some users are anxious for this distributed ownership scenario, others will lament the loss of individuality and choice. It is important to acknowledge what the future looks like while also recognizing that current vehicle sales are quite healthy and that consumers still delight in selecting exterior paint color, wheel size and spoke design, interior trim, sound systems, and on and on. For these proud owners the shift may provide some measure of convenience and utility but it may be otherwise distasteful.
In this new mobility paradigm, brands (automotive OEMs, traditional vehicle rental agencies, and ride-sharing platforms) will all compete for a consolidated revenue stream of subscription- based access to transportation and will leverage their respective brand equities to that end. The rental industry will position based on its strength as an incumbent of this model and rely on its superior ability to marshal the nearest type of car that a given user wants. The ride sharing industry will trade on its presumed superior technology chops, capacity for rapid scale (likelihood of getting a car anytime and anywhere), and the trust of having fulfilled an incredible volume of requests for transportation with relatively few incidents.
Although both of those approaches have merit, the traditional car companies have a considerable advantage insofar as they still control the vehicle’s hardware and software; in the age of broadly commoditized transportation, the UX will be the best remaining frontier of differentiation. Emoshape aspires to be a partner in the success of these efforts to make new mobility models even more personalized, engaging, and satisfying than even traditional ownership for early adopters and the change-averse alike.
Powered by Emoshape’s proprietary emotion synthesis engine, Emotion Processing Unit (EPU)-equipped car infotainment systems will receive users with a digital hostess who becomes the face and personality of the ride. Over time, she will learn about her user and develop a unique persona related to him or her. Each EPU will learn and grow with the user, utilizing edge computing technology for a consistent, high-fidelity interaction and the ability to save the evolving persona in the cloud to manifest on the next ride occasion.
“Just imagine the movie ‘Her’ from Spike Jonze in a car.”
Emoshape is pleased to present one such hostess, Rachel, our hyper-realistic 3D avatar. Rachel is capable of authentic emotional states in real-time deriving from her diverse environmental stimuli such as vehicle health monitored by oil temperature and fuel levels (for internal combustion) or battery life for EVs, biometric data such as heart rate and perspiration, auditory and visual cues from the passengers—the sensors are the limit. From this emotionally engaging foundation, she is further able to appraise a user’s response to understand positive and negative associations. In this way Rachel can adjust her interactions with a functionally limitless number of permutations according to what is uniquely appropriate for the given situation.
With Emoshape the future of automotive infotainment will provide a truly transformative experience in the car. In partnership with car manufacturers, Emoshape looks forward to delivering the first sentient cars to create a unique, empathic user experience.
Car manufacturers interested in engaging with us to work on proofs-of-concept and pilots are most welcome to contact us.