SEAT Taps IBM Watson for Mobility Platform

Volkswagen AG’s SEAT unit is working with IBM Corp. to develop a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform to help consumers compare and book various travel options.

SEAT President Luca de Meo previewed the plan to Bloomberg News last week.

The carmaker’s Mobility Advisor system will use IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology to quickly assess the time, cost and environmental impact of multiple transportation methods. This will include personal vehicles, car-sharing, bicycles/scooters, public transportation and walking.

The carmaker says the system is designed to run as a mobile app on 4G/5G networks. IBM Watson will provide a conversational interface to help plan and optimize routes to a user’s destination.

Connected to the IBM Cloud, the system takes into account weather forecasts, traffic reports, construction and other local events. The program also will use machine learning to make customized recommendations based on a user’s preferences and personal information, according to the partners.

SEAT says the development program currently is at the proof-of-concept stage. IBM’s Viewnext subsidiary in Spain is working with the carmaker’s XMoba mobility team on the project.