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Volkswagen announced plans to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its cars starting in the second quarter of 2024.
The integration, available across VW’s lineup in Europe (with US plans to be considered), will empower the existing “IDA” voice assistant. Users can utilize “Hello IDA” wake words to control car features, ask general knowledge questions, and receive vehicle-specific information.
“With Cerence Chat Pro, VW is empowered with an automotive-grade ChatGPT integration that offers unmatched flexibility, customisation, and ease of deployment, while prioritising security and usability for drivers. As we look to the future, together Volkswagen and Cerence will explore collaboration to design a new, large-language-model-based (LLM) user experience as the foundation of Volkswagen’s next-generation in-car assistant.”
says Stefan Ortmanns, CEO of Cerence.
This integration holds the potential to significantly improve the in-car voice assistant experience. ChatGPT’s conversational capabilities could enable natural interactions. At the same time, its access to vast information resources could answer complex questions about travel (hopefully), vehicle functions, and more.
On the other hand, integrating ChatGPT, voice conversations are now available to all Android users, also prompts concerns. The technology has faced criticism for occasional factual inaccuracies, raising data privacy questions. VW maintains that user questions and responses will be immediately deleted, and OpenAI will not access driving data. Nevertheless, ensuring robust data protection and information accuracy will be crucial.
While other automakers are exploring ChatGPT’s potential for car interactions, VW is the first to announce a concrete integration plan.
Overall, the success of this initiative hinges on addressing privacy concerns and ensuring reliable information delivery. If VW can effectively navigate these challenges, ChatGPT integration could significantly enhance the user experience and position VW as a leader in innovative automotive technology.