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Seat and IBM announce urban mobility app

Mobility Advisor will use the IBM Watson artificial intelligence app to help urban citizens make more informed choices about daily transportation options

App is at the proof-of-concept stage but seeks to transform travelling in cities
App is at the proof-of-concept stage but seeks to transform travelling in cities

Automaker Seat has announced Mobility Advisor at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which uses IBM Watson artificial intelligence (AI) to help urban citizens make informed decisions about their daily transportation options including cars, scooters, bikes and public transport.


It follows the announcement that Seat is also developing the concept car Minimo, as another strand in its urban mobility strategy.


Eco-friendly micro-mobility


At the moment, Mobility Advisor is a proof-of-concept but Seat anticipates it will form part of its ‘micro-mobility’ strategy to provide personalised and eco-friendly choices for drivers.


“Traffic congestion and environmental challenges are putting huge pressure on cities to transform,” said Jordi Caus, head of new urban mobility concepts, Seat.


“At Seat 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.”


Currently under development and designed to run as a mobile app on 4G/5G networks, Mobility Advisor uses IBM Watson Assistant to provide users with a conversational interface to plan and optimise routes and suggest the most suitable transportation options.


With IBM Watson machine learning, the app can learn a user’s preferences and make personalised 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, traffic reports and things happening in the city that day, according to Seat.

“Traffic congestion and environmental challenges are putting huge pressure on cities to transform”

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 scooters for the part of the journey, said Seat.


With the roll-out of 5G networks in cities in the coming years, the possibilities for transforming the driver experience are limitless,” added Juan Ramon Gutierrez Villar, industry solutions leader, IBM Global Markets.


“At IBM, 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 contextualised and personalised user experiences that work at lightning speed across multiple clouds and IT platforms.”


Evolving the proof-of-concept


Seat said its R&D mobility team will continue working with IBM technicians on the evolution of Mobility Advisor proof-of-concept and its different potential applications.


Together with Xmoba, Seat’s independent company which tests new solutions that contribute to better mobility, the automaker will analyse the future integration of Mobility Advisor with Justmoove, the collaborative mobility solutions platform which the company already offers to its customers.


On IBM’s side, the project is being implemented by Viewnext, an IBM subsidiary based in Spain.


Seat is also part of a consortium which is demonstrating connected car and 5G assisted driving during Mobile World Congress on the streets of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat in Barcelona.


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