SEAT and IBM developing AI-powered urban ‘Mobility Advisor’


At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Volkswagen Group member SEAT and computer giant IBM announced the development of a new artificial intelligence-powered solution that is being designed to transform driving in cities.  

Announced the day after SEAT presented its Minimó concept car that is intended to revolutionize urban mobility, the new ‘Mobility Advisor’ proof of concept uses the power of IBM’s question-answering Watson computing system to help citizens make informed decisions about their daily transportation options, including the use of cars, scooters, bikes and public transportation.

Currently under development and designed to run as a mobile app on 4G/5G networks, Mobility Advisor uses IBM’s Watson Assistant to provide users with a verbal and conversational interface to plan and optimize routes and suggest the most suitable transportation options. The Mobility Advisor concept is part of SEAT’s ‘micromobility’ strategy to provide personalized and eco-friendly choices for drivers, from cars to electric-powered scooters.

With IBM Watson’s machine learning capability, Mobility Advisor can learn a user’s preferences and make personalized recommendations for how best to complete a journey.

Connected to the IBM Cloud, it dynamically adapts to changing conditions by taking into account weather forecasts, real-time traffic reports and events that are happening in the city that day. It incorporates the user’s appointments and historical data about previous choices in order to suggest the best modes of transportation each time, even if that means leaving the car behind, walking, or using one of SEAT’s e-Kick electric scooters for part of the journey.
SEAT’s R&D Mobility team will continue working with IBM technicians on the evolution of the Mobility Advisor proof of concept and its different potential applications. Together with XMOBA, SEAT’s independent company that tests new solutions that contribute to better mobility, the Spanish auto maker will analyze the future integration of Mobility Advisor with Justmoove, the collaborative mobility solutions platform that the company already offers to its customers. On IBM’s side, the project is being implemented by Viewnext, an IBM subsidiary operating in Spain.

“Traffic congestion and environmental challenges are putting huge pressure on cities to transform,” explained Jordi Caus, SEAT’s head of new urban mobility concepts. “We are leading the way by working with innovative cities and technology companies to come up with solutions to make mobility easier and more efficient.
“With its advanced cloud and AI technologies, IBM is helping us to innovate new approaches to mobility that will transform our business strategy while improving the lives of people living in urban areas.”

Juan Ramon Gutierrez Villar, industry solutions leader at IBM Global Markets, commented, “With the roll-out of 5G networks in cities in the coming years, the possibilities for transforming the driver experience are limitless. We are working with telecommunications companies and innovative manufactures like SEAT to provide the open technologies which they need to deliver on this vision and create highly contextualized and personalized user experiences that work at lightning speed across multiple clouds and IT platforms.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.