AI has changed the internet in various, fundamental ways over the past year. Soon, it may also be changing the way we drive.
On Tuesday, car navigation company TomTom announced that it’s developing an artificial intelligence driving assistant alongside Microsoft. The voice assistant will be based on Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, released in January.
“Drivers can converse naturally with their vehicle and ask the AI-powered assistant to navigate to a certain location, find specific stops along their route, and vocally control onboard systems to, for instance, turn up the temperature, open windows, or change radio stations,” reads TomTom’s press release. “All with a single interaction.”
“Together with Microsoft, our shared vision is to drive innovation with generative AI and provide our customers with even better solutions,” said TomTom’s chief revenue officer Mike Schoofs. “Leveraging our navigation and technology expertise, we’re creating a groundbreaking new way for people to interact with their vehicles. With both companies integrating what they do best into one solution, we’re transforming the in-vehicle experience, enabling drivers to ask their car for anything and trust it will deliver.”
This isn’t the first AI voice assistant integration we’ve seen in cars. Earlier this year Mercedes announced a beta program that integrates ChatGPT with the car’s MBUX voice control system. That three-month program is also powered by Microsoft. Meanwhile Alexa, Apple AirPlay, Android Auto, and Siri have also got in on the voice assistant game, although it’s worth noting that their AI isn’t generative like the Microsoft-backed ones.
TomTom’s press release doesn’t come with information about when this new voice assistant might become available to the public. Mashable has reached out to TomTom and we will update this article if we receive a response.
UPDATE: Dec. 19, 2023, 12:21 p.m. EST “TomTom and Microsoft will demo the conversational AI at CES in Las Vegas in January to global OEMs and other interested parties,” a spokesperson told Mashable. “While lead times in the Automotive industry tend to be long, our voice assistant is being developed with easy integration in mind, accelerating the time-to-market. So we cannot give a set date yet, but we’d like to see drivers benefit from this as soon as possible.”