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Volkswagen offering ChatGPT in some new models

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Volkswagen models featuring the new-generation infotainment system are now also equipped with AI feature, ChatGPT.

New vehicles that have the feature include all of the electric ID. family and the new Golfs, Tiguans, and Passats.

It can be accessed using the IDA voice assistant and drivers’ search results will be read to them and interact with the cars using natural language, Volkswagen said.

“Volkswagen has a long tradition of democratizing technologies,” said Kai Grünitz, Member of the Brand Board of Management responsible for Development, in a news release. “By seamlessly integrating ChatGPT into the backend of our voice assistant, we are now offering drivers the opportunity to use this artificial intelligence on a daily basis.”

Current Volkswagen models can already answer questions about various topics using the IDA online voice assistant in addition to controlling infotainment, navigation, and climate control systems but with the introduction of ChatGPT, the possibilities have expanded significantly, VW said in the release.

“For example, AI can provide information on tourist attractions, report on past football tournaments, or help solve math problems. All of this works intuitively: the driver simply talks to the assistant in natural language and there is no need for them to take their eyes off the road.”

Volkswagen customers with an existing VW Connect/VW Connect Plus account can use the IDA voice assistant as usual. The digital assistant is launched by saying “Hello IDA” or pressing the button on the steering wheel.

Questions that can’t be answered by the Volkswagen system are forwarded anonymously to ChatGPT. ChatGPT doesn’t gain access to vehicle data, according to Volkswagen.

Questions and answers are deleted immediately to ensure optimal data protection, the release says. The online voice assistant can be deactivated in the Volkswagen app settings or the infotainment system’s privacy settings.

In January 2024, Volkswagen presented the first vehicles with ChatGPT integrated into the IDA voice assistant at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The technology is currently available in English (U.S.), English (UK), Spanish, Czech, and German.

During a CIECA webinar held in May, Gaurav “Rav” Mendiratta, CEO of SocioSquares and chief product officer at Propel, said all human written text is estimated at about 10 trillion words which ChatGPT is expected to be trained on within a year.

However, he added, the technology does have limitations including hallucinations. It also sometimes lacks common sense and has limited long-term memory, Mendriatta said.

Mendriatta demonstrated that ChatGPT could be used to get instructions on what to do after a car crash or a cracked window.

“…I imagine in the near future AI virtual assistants would be installed in cars and will offer real-time advice and reassurance helping to reduce stress and ensure that critical information is accurately recorded,” he said.


Featured image provided by Volkswagen

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