Parental Affective Natural Driving Assistant

PANDA is a Parental Affective Natural Driving Assistant. It is a virtual in-car entertainment agent that can migrate around the car to interact with the parent-driver or with children in the back seat. PANDA supports the parent-driver via speech interface, helps to mediate her interaction with children in the back seat, and works to reduce distractions for the driver while also engaging, entertaining and educating children. The PANDA project is funded by Audi-Volkswagon.

Panda moves between a front and back tablet locations. It provides various educational and entertainment content, and talks to both the driver and the children. We plan to test the believability of PANDA by young children in a car setting. We hope to develop it to limit the amount of media children absorb in a car. Some of the questions we would like to answer are: will a parent driving with PANDA want to use it again? will the driver be less distracted? Will children believe PANDA can entertain them, and turn to her rather than to the driver? How long does this process take? In what scenarios will children and parents expect PANDA to be helpful?


    Michal Gordon and Cynthia Breazeal. 2015. Designing a virtual assistant for in-car child entertainment. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 359-362.

Engaging children in cars to assist driving parents