Microsoft Is Bringing Generative AI To Your Car

In a bid to revolutionize in-car voice controls, TomTom and Microsoft have joined forces to introduce generative AI, a technology promising a more seamless and natural interaction with your vehicle. Over the decades, voice controls in cars have often been marred by clunky prompts and limited functionality, but this collaboration aims to change the game.

The announcement envisions a future reminiscent of the iconic K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, where generative AI, built upon Microsoft’s implementation of OpenAI, enables users to employ natural-speaking phrases for controlling various aspects of their cars. Beyond the conventional tasks of calling or texting, users can navigate to specific locations, identify stops along their route, and even control onboard systems with a single voice interaction. Adjusting the temperature, opening windows, or changing radio stations—all become possible through the power of voice.

This development comes at a strategic time, as some vehicle manufacturers consider removing CarPlay and Android Auto due to reported connection issues. In such scenarios, drivers often resort to troubleshooting on their phones or using touch commands, diverting their attention from the road. Voice controls, however, offer a safer alternative, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road while operating essential functions traditionally handled manually.

TomTom plans to introduce the generative AI experience in its Digital Cockpit, an open, modular in-vehicle infotainment platform. Although not available off the shelf, TomTom aims to collaborate with vehicle manufacturers to integrate branded versions of this experience into their cars.

While no specific deals have been announced, TomTom and Microsoft are set to showcase their work at CES in January, providing a glimpse into the future of in-car technology. TomTom, renowned for its GPS navigation services, has a history of collaboration with Microsoft, including providing location data for Azure Location-Based Service and Bing Maps. With this latest venture, the two companies aim to redefine the user experience within the automotive landscape through the power of generative AI.

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