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Kia’s futuristic car interior can sense your mood

CES concept showcases the future for autonomous pods and frankly, we’re scared

Anyone else mildly terrified by the prospect of an autonomous car that can read your facial expression, check your heart rate and then alter the cabin accordingly? No? Just us then.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Kia has unveiled something called R.E.A.D. That spells out READ, but stands for – car buzzword bingo cards at the ready – ‘Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving’.

So in the future, in your autonomous pod, the interior will be constructed of many sensors that monitor your emotional state, makes an assessment using artificial intelligence, and then tailors the interior ‘environment’. It is said to create a “more joyful mobility experience” but we’ve watched too many movies. We know how this one ends.

“Kia considers the interactive cabin a focal point for future mobility,” explains Hyundai’s Albert Biermann (formerly of BMW M Division, we’re obliged to point out). “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.”

Kia tells us this READ system establishes a “baseline in user behaviour”, identifies patterns and trends and… OK, now we’re really terrified. Especially considering another part of the system makes the seats vibrate to your chosen music.

The concept on display even sprays out fragrances to suit the occupants’ “current disposition”, while there’s something called ‘V-Touch’ which is a virtual touch-type gesture control.

Let us know what you think. We’ll be hiding in a bunker somewhere deep underground.

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