Learning Patterns Of Pick Ups And Drop Offs To Support Busy Family Coordination

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Part of being a parent is taking responsibility for arranging and supplying transportation of children between various events. Dual-income parents frequently develop routines to help manage transportation with a minimal amount of attention. On days when families deviate from their routines, effective logistics can often depend on knowledge of the routine location, availability and intentions of other family members. Since most families rarely document their routine activities, making that needed information unavailable, coordination breakdowns are much more likely to occur. To address this problem we demonstrate the feasibility of learning family routines using mobile phone GPS. We describe how we (1) detect pick-ups and drop- offs; (2) predict which parent will perform a future pick-up or drop-off; and (3) infer if a child will be left at an activity. We discuss how these routine models give digital calendars, reminder and location systems new capabilities to help prevent breakdowns, and improve family life.