TomTom has partnered with Microsoft to develop a new AI-based voice assistant for vehicles, which utilizes Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service. This new technology endeavor aims to enhance and simplify the in-car experience, allowing drivers to engage in natural conversations with their vehicles. With this sophisticated AI tool, users can effectively control navigation and onboard vehicle systems with ease.
Digital Cockpit Integration
TomTom's unnamed AI voice assistant boasts the ability to integrate seamlessly into automotive infotainment systems, including the company's proprietary Digital Cockpit platform. The capability extends to performing a range of functions, such as setting navigation destinations, locating route-specific stops, adjusting vehicle temperatures, operating windows, and switching radio channels through simple voice commands. These features represent a significant upgrade to the conventional manual controls and touch interfaces currently prevalent in the market.
Future Outlook and OEM Opportunities
While TomTom and Microsoft have not disclosed the financial terms of their partnership, the potential impact on automotive manufacturers (OEMs) is substantial. The two companies have been partners for several years. Dominik Wee, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Manufacturing and Mobility, underscores the strategic collaboration, conveying that it merges Microsoft's cloud AI advancements with TomTom's extensive automotive know-how. This synergy is expected to empower OEMs to provide unique, AI-driven cockpit experiences that align with and accentuate their distinctive brand identities. The availability timeline for TomTom's AI assistant to car owners is yet to be announced.
Earlier collaborations between Microsoft and automotive industry giants like Mercedes-Benz have already demonstrated the potential of Azure's AI offerings in vehicles. A three-month beta test included voice chat features from ChatGPT for 900,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicle owners, showcasing Microsoft's ongoing commitment to innovative auto technology solutions. The outcome of these initial tests remains forthcoming, signaling a pioneering era for AI-enhanced vehicular experiences.