(Image via Technische Universitaet Muenchen)


I did not know how to turn off the change oil light in my car, it was not in the manual. What did I do? I checked youtube for the answer. Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TU) and Audi are about to bring a video manual you can talk to on all new model Audi cars.


The Avatar-based Virtual Co-driver System (AviCoS) is a animated avatar that can give the driver, or anyone in the car, detailed information on the vehicle using "natural-language dialog." Simply ask a question, and the system will deliver the answer. AviCoS uses an AI that can analyze complete sentences and answer using audio, images, or video on a embedded screen in the car. The avatar can also visually guide the user through the car, or point to areas of interest.


If the user is unfamiliar with a certain feature of the car, the touch screen lets the user enter the "Touch & Tell Mode." The user touches the area of the car where more information is needed, the avatar provides all the background information. While driving, all animations and graphical outputs are suppressed to avoid distracting the driver. However, voice communication will still work. " Overall, AviCoS provides comfortable and interactive access to multimedia content that goes far beyond the information contained in printed manuals. The self-explanatory system can be used without training, making it easy to get familiar with the operation of a vehicle," said TU Institute for Business Informatics' Dr Michael Schermann.


The development team stated that the next step is to sense the drivers mood through elevated speech patterns or tone of voice. When angry, the animations are suppressed.  In a time a difficulty, I would not care to see flashy animations, I suppose.