The Artificial Passenger is a telematic device, developed by IBM, that interacts verbally with a driver to reduce the likelihood of them falling asleep at the controls of a vehicle. It is based on inventions covered by U.S. patent 6,236,968.

An artificial passenger (AP) is a device that would be used in a motor vehicle to make sure that the driver stays awake.

IBM has developed a prototype that holds a conversation with a driver, telling jokes and asking questions intended to determine whether the driver can respond alertly enough.

Assuming the IBM approach, an artificial passenger would use a microphone for the driver and a speech generator, and the vehicle’s audio speakers to converse with the driver.

The conversation would be based on a personalized profile of the driver.

A camera could be used to evaluate the driver’s “facial state” and a voice analyzer to evaluate whether the driver was becoming drowsy.

If a driver seemed to display too much fatigue, the artificial passenger might be programmed to open all the windows, sound a buzzer, increase background music volume, or even spray the driver with ice.

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