IBM and Volkswagen's Spanish unit SEAT have unveiled a standalone app that hopes to predict what mode of transport and route is best for urban users through artificial intelligence (AI).
The app, called Mobility Advisor, will utilise the power of IBM's Watson supercomputer to present commuters with the best way to navigate cities, whether that's through public transport, scooters, bicycles or cars.
SEAT's head of future urban mobility Jordi Caus told City A.M. in an interview in Barcelona that the app will quickly learn the transport preferences of each user to only recommend the best option for them. It will also take into account other factors in making its decision, such as the user's calendar, surrounding traffic and the weather.
The app will initially undergo a three-month pilot phase to test out the AI using SEAT's 15,000 employees and also IBM's workforce in Spain. Should the pilot go smoothly, Caus said the app will then be launched for public beta-testing in Spain.
The news follows similar moves to innovate in the industry which is rapidly becoming a multi-model environment. Rival carmaker Ford today revealed a partnership with London startup What3words to map out the world using unique three-word addresses.
Mobility Advisor will also improve as future technologies come into play, with the advent of 5G and autonomous cars enabling seamless connectivity from the point at which the app predicts a route.
Additionally the app will take up market share by partnering with ride-hailing companies to automatically order an Uber or taxi for the user, based on an understanding of what's coming up in their calendar and when they'll need to travel.