Volkswagen has announced plans to integrate the OpenAI-developed generative language model ChatGPT into its cars, as shared on Monday ahead of a major electronics conference.
As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is set to kick off in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday, Volkswagen has said in a press release that its cars will feature ChatGPT as part of its IDA voice assistant. The integration is set to take place in some production vehicles as soon as the second quarter of this year, according to the release.
The automaker will include the chatbot in its ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, and ID.7 vehicles, as well as the new Tiguan and Passat models. The company is working with Cerence Chat Pro to integrate the language model, letting drivers control vehicle functions such as air conditioning, navigation and more, and enabling the voice assistant to answer general questions.
“Volkswagen has always democratised technology and made it accessible to the many,” said Kai Grünitz, Volkswagen Brand Board of Management Member for Technical Development. “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.”
In the release, Volkswagen also notes that ChatGPT won’t be able to access vehicle or user data, adding that questions and answers will also be deleted immediately to protect user privacy.
To activate ChatGPT, drivers can simply say “Hello IDA” and the voice assistant will work using the chatbot’s artificial intelligence (AI) and other sources to help determine function output.
The news marks the first chatbot integration into a vehicle as of yet, though Elon Musk recently said that xAI’s Grok language model may eventually run natively on Tesla’s vehicles using local computing power. Musk did not provide a timeline for the plans, so it’s unclear if this is something that Tesla would try to roll out around the same time as Volkswagen’s addition of ChatGPT—though it seems unlikely.
Reports from last year also suggest that ChatGPT could be added to vehicles from other auto brands, including General Motors (GM).
You can watch Volkswagen’s full CES press conference announcing the news below.