You know how well the little mic button on your steering wheel works? Yeah, it doesn’t work all that well for us, either. But TomTom and Microsoft want to revolutionise the way we interact with our cars. The brands have cooked up a new AI-powered conversational assistant for vehicles. It’s like having a tech-savvy co-pilot who actually knows what they’re doing! Just don’t ask it for directions.
TomTom. Remember them? They’re the chaps who were navigating us around long before Google Maps was even a twinkle in Silicon Valley’s eye. Well, they’ve decided to up the ante by partnering with Microsoft to bring generative AI to the automotive industry. The AI software will be powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, which is the same powerhouse behind ChatGPT. It’s built into TomTom’s Digital Cockpit and can be integrated into other automotive infotainment systems. That means it’s not just exclusive to one brand or model. Any car manufacturer can jump on this bandwagon and give their vehicles a bit of that AI magic.
The pair’s AI promises more sophisticated voice interaction with your car’s infotainment and command systems. Think of it as having a natural conversation with your car to navigate, control onboard controls, open windows, and even change radio stations. All of this without having to press a single button – just your voice doing all the work. But you know, where it actually works.
And before you ask – no, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen AI in cars. Mercedes dabbled with the next-gen tech earlier this year, with ChatGPT models in some of their vehicles. But TomTom’s approach, with the backing of Microsoft’s AI and cloud services, is like comparing a finely aged wine to a supermarket own-brand plonk. Now, when can you get your hands on this? While TomTom hasn’t announced any partnerships with vehicle manufacturers just yet, the brand will be flaunting this tech at CES in January.