TomTom says its AI assistant will let you control your car by voice

  • GPS device maker TomTom is using Microsoft’s OpenAI bundled services to bring a conversational AI assistant to cars.
  • The AI will apparently allow drivers to plan trips using TomTom’s maps, as well as have full blown conversations and even issue commands to your car.
  • OpenAI launched a voice component for ChatGPT in September which has been received positively by users.

One of the largest names in the history of GPS technology TomTom wants to create a conversational assistant for cars powered by the latest in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and it has partnered with Microsoft, one of the leaders in AI tech, to do just that.

The expected assistant will allow drivers to have conversations with their vehicles through their AI – “converse naturally with their vehicles” – and will include other voice interactions, like infotainment, location search, and even the ability to issue commands to your vehicle, the company said in a statement seen by Reuters.

TomTom, which now competes with the likes of Google Maps, to sell GPSs has used various Microsoft services in the past, and will leverage Azure OpenAI Service, a product that Microsoft offers that allows companies to use OpenAI’s large language models – the technology that powers ChatGPT.

The incoming voice assistant could apparently be integrated into other automotive infotainment systems, such as those on-board Tesla vehicles, and is also built into TomTom’s Digital Cockpit – a new onboard and modular vehicle infotainment system.

In September OpenAI released a voice component to ChatGPT, which delivers the same conversational generative AI abilities but through a voice, like with Apple’s Siri, or Google’s Voice Assistant. The launch of the voice-activated chatbot, especially on the mobile app of ChatGPT was received well by users and allows for natural conversations with the AI. Some users have said that they often forget they’re speaking to an app when using ChatGPT voice.

This feature was initially restricted to subscribers of OpenAI, but the company made voice chatting free for all users of the ChatGPT app in November.

The TomTom assistant may take it a step further with integrated vehicle control, but if the company does integrate OpenAI’s chatbot into their vehicle services, it will likely be the most natural voice-activated car assistant out there.

As of yet, there is no timeline for when the company will launch the vehicle AI. In July, TomTom launched a plugin for ChatGPT that allows users to plan trips and explore new places using TomTom’s digital maps. It is likely this feature will also be included in the vehicular version.

[Image – Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash]


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