TomTom just announced a “fully integrated, AI-powered conversational car assistant” that should start showing up in dashboard infotainment platforms in the near future. The company has made some bold claims for the AI, saying it will provide “more advanced voice interaction” and allow users to speak naturally to navigate, find stopping points along the way, control on-board systems, open windows and just about anything else you find. Do it yourself while driving.
The company, known for its GPS platforms, has partnered with Microsoft to develop this AI assistant. This technology leverages OpenAI’s large language models, as well as Microsoft products such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Cognitive Services. Cosmos DB is a multi-model database and Cognitive Services is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for use in AI applications, so this should be a capable assistant that draws from the latest developments.
TomTom promises that the voice assistant will integrate into a variety of interfaces offered by major automakers, indicating that the car company will retain ownership of its brand. So this could start to appear in cars from a wide range of manufacturers. The company hasn’t announced any final partnerships with well-known automakers, but the technology will be integrated into TomTom’s private digital cockpit, An open, unified in-car infotainment platform.
This isn’t the first time a company has tried to put an LLM certificate inside a car. Last June, Mercedes announced a three-month pilot program that included ChatGPT prototypes in select cars. This tool also took advantage of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service. TomTom will be showing off the AI at CES in January, so we’ll know more about how it actually works at that point.
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