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Aptiv teamed up with ride-hailing group Lyft at last year’s CES to showcase its autonomous technology (Photo: Aptiv)

Aptiv has joined forces with artificial intelligence specialist Affectiva to develop software that can help a car determine the cognitive states of its occupants.

The US automotive supplier group said the software will enhance safety and provide information that helps improve the in-cabin experience in tomorrow’s cars.

Affectiva is a Boston-based MIT Media Lab spin-off specializing in AI to interpret human perception.

“Just as perception and detection of objects outside the vehicle are critical enablers of autonomous driving, there is an increasing need for intelligent sensing inside the cabin,” Aptiv CEO Kevin Clark said in a statement. He added that the software being developed “will improve safety and strengthen the ride experience.”

Affectiva co-founder and CEO Rana el Kaliouby said her company’s deep-learning based software will allow automakers, on-demand mobility providers and fleet management companies to build “intelligent vehicles that understand every facet of the human experience within a vehicle.”

As part of the agreement, Aptiv said it has taken a minority investment in Affectiva.

Aptiv will be one of several automotive companies planning to showcase its autonomous driving technology at next week’s CES in Las Vegas. The company teamed up with ride-hailing group Lyft at last year’s consumer electronics exhibition to demonstrate how its systems underpinned a driverless BMW car.

Last month, Aptiv opened a technical center in Las Vegas.