If you’ve tried chatting online with your bank or almost any other business lately, there’s a great chance you’ve been talking with a robot – more specifically, artificial intelligence. The rise of AI has been rapid, as companies like OpenAI released their technology. The potential and possible dangers are almost endless, and Volkswagen feels the time is right to give your car a dose of AI, just in case the massive touchscreen and digital gauge cluster didn’t distract you enough already.
VW introduced its ChatGPT integration at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, saying that it will eventually make its way into all of the automaker’s vehicles equipped with the IDA voice assistant system, starting in the second quarter of this year. For now, the list includes the Tiguan, the upcoming new Golf and Passat, ID.7, ID.4, ID.5, and ID.3.
The technology will enable deeper control of the infotainment, navigation, and climate control systems, and users can ask general questions. VW envisions a world where owners can get help “enriching conversations, clearing up questions, interacting in intuitive language, receiving vehicle-specific information, and more – purely hands-free.”
We already know our vehicles are spying on us, but VW said its AI system does not access vehicle data and noted that it deletes questions and answers immediately to protect privacy. The technology is backed by Cerence Inc., a Massachusetts-based company focused on automotive virtual assistants, which will be responsible for updating and maintaining the system, as well as ensuring its security.
While VW said it’s the first automaker to develop such technology, it won’t be the last. Companies like Cerence and major automotive OEMs are working to integrate AI with several vehicle systems, including safety and semi-autonomous driving assistants.