Had a bad day? Your Ford could cheer you up again

Cars that talk to us have been around since the 80s, but facial recognition technology is much newer and is beginning to realise its full potential.

Ford is suggesting that advanced systems – equipped with sophisticated microphones and in-car cameras – could learn which songs we like to hear when we are stressed and those occasions when we prefer silence. Interior lighting could also complement our mood.

“We’re well on the road to developing the empathetic car which might tell you a joke to cheer you up, offer advice when you need it, remind you of birthdays, and keep you alert on a long drive,” said Fatima Vital, senior director, Marketing Automotive, Nuance Communications, which helped Ford develop voice recognition of the SYNC in-car connectivity system.

Cloud-based voice control is anticipated to be available on 75 per cent of new cars by 2022, * and it is predicted future systems would evolve into personal assistants that shuffle appointments and order takeaways when drivers are held up in traffic jams.

Future gesture and eye control would enable drivers to answer calls by nodding their head, adjust the volume with short twisting motions, and set the navigation with a quick glance at their destination on a map.