German automobile manufacturing giant Volkswagen plans to integrate OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT into its cars as early as mid-2024.
On Jan. 9, Volkswagen presented vehicles featuring ChatGPT-powered voice assistants at the CES 2024 trade show in Las Vegas. The cars are expected to launch in North America and Europe by the second quarter of 2024.
ChatGPT will help Volkswagen’s built-in voice assistant to have back-and-forth dialogue with car occupants. Most importantly, the Volkswagen assistant will be able to interpret and respond to a range of non-conventional commands. For example, the assistant can raise the temperature upon hearing “I’m feeling cold.”
Volkswagen’s ChatGPT-powered voice assistant will also be able to share directions to the nearest Indian restaurant upon hearing “I want butter chicken.”
Kai Gruenitz, the Volkswagen brand’s board member for technical development, said that ChatGPT service can also be used to adjust various functionalities of their cars without touching any buttons, adding:
“Our customers don’t want to manually adjust their seats … they want to use speech dialogue systems. I think what our customers are really looking for is seamless, intuitive usage of their car.”
The voice commands feature will alsbe extended to popular third-party services, allowing users to interact with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto without buttons.
While Volkswagen claimed to be the first volume manufacturer to introduce AI voice assistant as a standard feature, competitors, including General Motors and Mercedes-Benz, have previously experimented with ChatGPT.
Volkswagen developed this ChatGPT-integrated voice service in partnership with American software company Cerence.