Affectiva, Inc. (Boston, MA)

Cognitive state engineering can be used to manipulate vehicles. Image devices inside a vehicle can capture photographs of the person who is in the vehicle. The one or more images contain facial information of the person who is driving. A computer is utilized to analyze the images to determine a cognitive state. The audio of the person in the room is collected and used to enhance the analysis. The cognitive state is then mapped to the loading curve. The loading curve depicts the continuum of cognitive state load variation. The vehicle is controlled according to the map to the loading curve which is based on cognitive state alteration engineering. The modification of the sensory stimulation for the vehicle’s occupants is a part of the manipulating. Additional pictures of the occupants of the vehicle are taken and examined to discover additional cognitive states. Other cognitive states are used to alter the mapping. The amount of cognitive load is determined by eye gaze tracking.

Many different states of mind moods, emotions, and moods can be experienced when people travel as transportation often presents travellers with scenarios that are physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. There are many situations that can be challenging for travelers like being trapped in traffic congestion, standing in long security lines that never end, and many more. Despite these situations, the people travel from one place to another for financial reasons like commuting to the workplace or to school, or for reasons of personal nature like holiday, recuperation, or adventure; or for exercise, to mention just a few. For others, traveling is not an option. They could be fleeing from conflicts, famines or natural disasters or may be people who have been displaced economically. Transportation modes include ground transportation, water transportation, and air transport. The transportation modes are chosen by travelers based on convenience or availability and/or price. Transport options also are based on the nature of the journey, for example, traveling across town or carrying goods. Other forms of transportation like space transport, may be available in the near future.

Whichever means of transportation used there is a significant amount of travel. It is time-consuming to complete things related to travel, like getting to the vehicle, waiting, and then getting within the vehicle and waiting in security lines to get into the vehicle. Traveling can be a time-consuming experience at its best, but loathsome, frustrating, irritating, and even stressful at the most stressful. Many travelers utilize public transport networks, like trains, buses, aircrafts. There are also ride-sharing services like Uber.TM. Lyft.TM. ; personal cars; and car sharing services such as Zipcar.TM. To travel between various destinations. It includes regular commutes to work, taking the kids to soccer practices and piano lessons shopping, running errands travel for pleasure or business as well as other things which require transportation. Individuals can meet their transportation needs through a variety of vehicles. The selection of vehicles that are available is often based on the location where people reside. The vehicles can include cars and motorcycles; subways, trains, and buses; ride and ride sharing services; and even unmotorized vehicles like bicycles, skateboards or scooters. Travel time is time that can be used for other meaningful or productive things like study, work, art, or being with friends and family. Vehicle transportation is complicated and hindered by traffic jams as well as accidents and poor roads. The difficulties of transportation are further exacerbated by operating an unfamiliar vehicle, traveling in a city that is not familiar, and even in some circumstances, having to remember to operate a vehicle on theopposite side of the road. Catastrophic consequences can result from inattention to these transportation realities. Road rage can be felt by belligerent or angry car operators. However tired, intoxicated and tired drivers could cause vehicular collisions that cause injuries to the occupants of other vehicles cyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well as property damage.

Complex transportation systems are in place. Transportation, in general particularly urban transportation, has a myriad of and challenging design as well as financial and management issues, all of which directly impact the lives of travelers. Congested roads, surface roads and insufficient parking all have a direct impact on the mental and physical state and moods or emotions of the travelers. The congested roadways cause significantly longer and more dangerous commutes, while the lack of parking spaces increases the amount of time wasted looking for a place to leave a vehicle safely. Public transportation, if at all available to the traveler in her specific location is a challenge of its own. This includes overcrowded subways, trains, and buses during peak times and infrequently used routes because of poor planning, lack of enthusiasm, or other reasons. The increased use of bicycles or scooters through sharing services presents other, further challenges.Challenging or dangerous situations arise when vehicles, bicycles, or scooters share overfilled roadways that were not originally or mindfully designed for multi-use scenarios. Even though the vehicle’s operators and occupants are not directly involved in the management and financing of transportation infrastructure, those travelers are directly affected by and suffer the frustration and irritation of using transportation system, while paying the cost of taxes to build, maintain the operation, maintain, and upgrade these infrastructures.

In the techniques disclosed, vehicular manipulation uses cognitive state engineering that is based on analysis and other information about the vehicle’s occupant. The vehicle to be manipulated could be an autonomous car, a semi-autonomous vehicle, and the list goes on.An inside-vehicle imaging device can be utilized to capture images of the vehicle’s occupant, where the images include facial data. The vehicle may be a primary vehicle as well as a second vehicle, a third vehicle, or a public transportation vehicle and so on. Images may be based on different light spectra, for example, near-infrared pictures (NIR) or visible light images. A microphone can be used to record audio data and voice information. Other sensors inside the vehicle comprise sensors that collect physiological data. The computing device analyzes the pictures to determine the cognitive state. The computer could be a device within the vehicle or an electronic device utilized by the person who is seated in the vehicle, or a computing device such as servers outside of the vehicle, and the like. A loading curve is utilized to represent the state of mind. The curve of loading shows a continuum of cognitive state load variation. A loading curve could comprise a variety of cognition states. It can be as simple as cognitive “underload” all the way to cognitive overload. Cognitive underload may include lassitude, ennui, inattention and so on. While cognitive overload could include disorientation or capitulation and other similar. The vehicle is controlled based on the load curve’s mapping and the manipulation is accomplished using cognitive state alteration engineering. Cognitive state alteration engineering uses diverse methods to help drivers relax who are suffering from cognitive overload or to motivate drivers underload. Cognitive state alteration engineering aims to alter or shift the state of mind of an individual into a higher cognition state.

In some embodiments, a computer-implemented method for vehicle manipulation comprises: obtaining one or more photos of a vehicle occupant with one or more cameras in a vehicle, wherein the images comprise facial data of thevehicle occupant; analyzing, using a computing device one or more images to determine a cognition state; mapping the cognitive state to a loading curve, wherein the loading curve represents a continuous spectrum of the cognitive state’s loading variations; and manipulating the vehicle according to the relationship between the loading curve and the vehicle wherein the manipulating is accomplished through the use of cognitive state alteration engineering. A number of images can be obtained of additional passengers in the vehicle. The additional images could then be analyzed to determine additional cognitive states. Another embodiment is to adjust the map of the cognitive state. The adjustment is made using additional cognitive states and alters the control of the vehicle in accordance with the adjustments. In embodiments, the analyzing takes place beyond the eye region input from the image or images.

Certain examples of the technique involve obtaining audio data from a person who is a passenger in the vehicle, then augmenting the analysis based on that audio information. The audio data can comprise speech, non-speech vocalizations and so on. The non-speech vocalizations can include grunts and yelps as well as squeals, snoring, sighs laughter, filled pauses, indefinite pauses, or yawns. Another embodiment involves obtaining biochemical information from the vehicle’s driver and enhancing the analysis with the data. The physiological information could include heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin conductivity, and other such information. The driver of the vehicle can be a driver or operator of the vehicleor can be a passenger within the vehicle. Semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles could be utilized. In embodiments, the method includes rendering the cognitive state on a display within the vehicle. The rendering of the information could be done by displaying the data on an in-dashboard display, an in-vehicle screen, a heads-up display or electronic device like a smartphone that is connected to the vehicle’s driver, etc.

Many aspects, features, and advantages of various embodiments will become more apparent from the following description.

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