Volkswagen’s ChatGPT Powered Cars - Gimmick or Gamechanger?

Published on
16/01/2024 11:37 AM
volkswagen chatgpt

Volkswagen has announced that drivers will be able to talk to their cars this year - thanks to ChatGPT.

The German automaker announced its intentions for drivers and cars to have a 'back-and-forth dialogue' at the CES electronics trade fair in Las Vegas, sharing that the OpenAI platform is set to become a standard feature in select car models starting from the second quarter of 2024.

This integration is expected to unlock a range of capabilities surpassing conventional voice control. One notable feature is the IDA voice assistant, enabling users to command navigation, adjust air conditioning, seek answers to general knowledge questions, and manage infotainment systems simply by saying "Hello IDA" or pressing the steering wheel button.

Volkswagen asserts that ChatGPT will facilitate engaging conversations, address queries, provide vehicle-specific information, and offer additional functionalities for drivers.

Gimmick or gamechanger?

While tech-enthusiasts may see the move as a natural progression of the user interface, there's no doubt that at least some drivers will be scratching their heads and wondering why on earth they would need ChatGPT in their cars. 

VW says future functionality and improvements to the interface will prove its worth, allowing drivers to interact with their vehicles and get more information about the surrounding roads on a hands-free basis.  

Vehicle voice assistants have been fairly basic up to this point - able to turn on seat heaters or air conditioning but lack conversational skills or the capability to handle complex navigational requests. Through the use of GPTs, VW hopes it can break that mould and take the way we drive to the next level. 

The installation of ChatGPT will be trailled in Europe Q2 2024 across VW’s lineup, including the VW Tiguan, Passat, and Golf as well as the automaker’s ID family of electric vehicles. Plans for a US and global roll out are yet to be finalised. 


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