Volkswagen unveils plans to integrate ChatGPT voice assistants into its cars

09.01.2024

Volkswagen has revealed a groundbreaking collaboration with Cerence Chat Pro, integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its ID.7 electric sedan and Golf GTI models, as announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. This innovative partnership brings an advanced AI chatbot to the vehicles, enhancing the overall driving experience.

During a demonstration, the Language Learning Model (LLM) within ChatGPT showcased its capabilities by responding to a passenger’s complaint about feeling cold. The AI promptly acknowledged the request, saying, “OK, heating up the passenger seat,” and executed the action accordingly. Volkswagen emphasized that the assistant extends beyond climate control, empowering users to manage navigation and infotainment systems seamlessly.

Impressively, the AI demonstrated its versatility by providing restaurant recommendations when asked about locating buttered chicken and even sharing recipes for the dish. Kai Grunitz, a member of Volkswagen’s board of management for technical development, expressed enthusiasm, proclaiming, “It’s the best car we’ve ever built.”

Addressing privacy concerns, Volkswagen assured that the system operates without access to sensitive vehicle data, and all interactions with the assistant are promptly deleted. The integration incorporates a protective layer, allowing the automaker to determine which queries are directed to a third-party LLM and which remain within its proprietary system. This flexibility enables Volkswagen to make informed decisions on managing third-party content and maintaining control over certain queries.

Nils Schanz, Chief Product Officer of Cerence, highlighted the limitations of current systems and the significance of overcoming them. He explained, “Most systems today have their limitations because they are all trained and only capable of capturing queries, depending on the training data, which is leading to a high error rate.” The collaboration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT aims to push the boundaries of in-car AI, providing users with a more intuitive and responsive driving companion.

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