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SEAT and IBM showcase AI for smarter urban mobility

Spanish car brand SEAT is using artificial intelligence (AI) from IBM Watson to bring information and guidance to city residents about their usage of cars, scooters, bikes and public transport.

Cars have, invariably, been a feature of Mobile World Congress 2019 this week. SEAT, a Spanish brand owned by a German company (Volkswagen), used the Barcelona showcase to announce an incoming mobile app, called ‘Mobility Advisor’, that provides a “conversational interface” for city dwellers to plan and optimise their daily commutes and travel.

The app uses cloud-based AI from IBM Watson to suggest the most suitable transportation options. The system can learn a users’ preferences and make personalised recommendations, claimed SEAT. The app considers weather forecasts, traffic reports, and local events, and crosses these with a user’s appointments and historical data to suggest the best modes of transport.

It links in with SEAT’s so-called “micromobility” strategy to also recommend eco-friendly options, from public transport, electric vehicles, and, inevitably, SEAT’s own line of e-kick electric scooters. However, the proposition, presented as a tools to “revolutionise” urban mobility, remains under development. SEAT is seeking to integrate Mobility Advisor with Justmoove, the mobility platform it already offers to customers. IBM is looking to develop the project via Viewnext, an IBM subsidiary in Spain.

Jordi Caus, head of new urban mobility concepts at SEAT, said: “Traffic congestion and environmental challenges are putting huge pressure on cities to transform. 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. 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, leader of industry solutions at IBM, daid: “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 telecoms companies and manufacturers to provide the open technologies which they need to deliver on this vision and create highly contextualised and personalised user experiences that work at lightning speed across multiple clouds and IT platforms.”

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