MIT wants your dashboard GPS to have an expressive robotic head

Say hello to AIDA, or — since robots aren't allowed to have plain 'ol names — your Affective Intelligent Driving Agent. Think of it like a Wall-E character that helps you get around.

The affective part is that it's designed to keep track of everything going on inside and out, how you drive and even what events are going on in the city. How does that translate? AIDA will learn things such as when you get off work or what activities you like. It'll also know if you're running out of gas. Putting that all together, AIDA will be able to give you recommendations on going-ons you may be interested in, suggest that you get gas on the way home from work — and provide you with a route to do so — and anticipate traffic problems based on what events are happening along your way to wherever you're going.

It does this all with a robotic head that pops up out of your dash, with eyes that can wink, smile, and help you with directions. They can even merge to form warning signs, warning you of heavy traffic and other hazards.

AIDA is a concept designed primarily by MIT's Personal Robots Group and the university's Media Lab, SENSEable City Lab and Volkswagen Group of America's Electronics Research Lab. Learn more in the video down below.