Having grown up in Los Angeles, I don’t find the idea of an emotional relationship with my car to be a foreign concept. However, the idea that this relationship can be modeled on our relationships with our dogs certainly is a new idea.

The designers of “smart” cars seek to make the experiences of car users better. It is believed that this will increase driving pleasure and engagement as well as lead to better safety and efficiency. Recent research has focused on achieving these goals through improving users’ emotional interaction with the cars. So, what does this have to do with dogs?

Smart-car designers want to help drivers feel a connection to their cars, so naturally, they look for inspiration in relationships with strong emotional connections, and that means pet dogs. The interaction between people and their cars has the potential to be more positive, which can alleviate…

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