ChatGPT Coming to Volkswagen Voice AI Through Cerence Partnership
Volkswagen has revealed the first integration of its vehicles with ChatGPT. The generative AI tool will be part of VW’s IDA voice assistant through automotive voice AI mainstay Cerence. The Cerence Chat Pro and ChatGPT will be a standard capability beginning in the second quarter of this year, 2024, across multiple VW production models.
VW boasts that ChatGPT’s integration into IDA’s backend offers abilities far beyond previous voice control systems. For example, IDA can now respond to casual language to control entertainment, navigation, climate control, or answer any question that ChatGPT could. Drivers do not need to create a ChatGPT account or install another app. It basically maintains IDA, but if the Volkswagen systems cannot answer a query, it gets anonymously forwarded to the generative AI chatbot. No vehicle data is made accessible to ChatGPT, with all exchanges instantly deleted for maximum data protection. Cerence Chat Pro draws on diverse sources, including ChatGPT, letting IDA respond accurately and seamlessly while integrating securely into its capabilities for easy use by drivers.
“Volkswagen has always democratized technology and made it accessible to the many. This is simply ingrained in our DNA. As a result, we are now the first volume manufacturer to make this innovative technology a standard feature in vehicles from the compact segment upwards,” Volkswagen technical development Board member Kai Grünitz said in a statement. “Thanks to the seamless integration of ChatGPT and strong collaboration with our partner, Cerence, we are offering our drivers added value and direct access to the AI-based research tool. This also underlines the innovative strength of our new products.”
Volkswagen picked Cerence and its voice AI for its infotainment system two years ago, starting with the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI. Cerence’s AI used Volkswagen’s branding with “Hey Volkswagen” as the wakeword and the Cerence Drive 2.0 system. VW also embedded Cerence’s speech signal enhancement tools that filter out car noise so the AI can better hear what the driver is saying. Mercedes-Benz has also started embedding ChatGPT as part of the MBUX vehicular voice assistant through Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service. Like VW, Mercedes has relied on automotive AI developer Cerence to support MBUX for several years, renewing that deal as part of MBUX’s upgrade in 2020.
“We are proud to build on our automotive expertise and our long-standing partnership with Volkswagen to offer its customers new innovations that leverage generative AI and large language models – even after they have purchased a vehicle,” Cerence CEO Stefan Ortmanns said. “With Cerence Chat Pro, VW is empowered with an automotive-grade ChatGPT integration that offers unmatched flexibility, customization, and ease of deployment, while prioritizing security and usability for drivers. As we look to the future, together Volkswagen and Cerence will explore collaboration to design a new, large-language-model-based (LLM) user experience as the foundation of Volkswagen’s next-generation in-car assistant.”