General Motors is considering incorporating an artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant into its Ultifi end-to-end vehicle software platform, Detroit Free Press reports. The Ultifi platform, which is set to be deployed this year on next-generation electric and internal combustion engine vehicles, will allow for the frequent and seamless delivery of software-defined features, apps, and services to customers over the air. This will enable new vehicle experiences and connect customers’ digital lives.
The platform is built upon GM’s advanced electrical architecture, the Vehicle Intelligence Platform (VIP), which provides over-the-air capability, data bandwidth, cybersecurity, and processing power.
GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra stated that an AI voice assistant could be one of the many things that could be incorporated into the vehicle. She explained that the voice assistant would enable clear communication between the driver and the vehicle and that this technology would allow GM to make cars better over time as they evolve through the software updates.
While GM has not confirmed any specific plans to deploy an AI voice assistant, its software engineers are currently studying the space. GM spokesman Stuart Fowle said that the company views digital software and services as a core market, and intends to lead within the transportation sector. The shift to a software-defined vehicle system won’t just be about the evolution of voice commands, but also about offering more cloud-based services, faster software development, and new opportunities to increase customer loyalty.
Customers can expect regular updates and will be able to choose from a suite of over-the-air upgrades, personalization options, and new apps. This customization will reimagine the ownership experience as enabled vehicles will have access to the latest software and capabilities.
The advanced cloud-based connectivity of Ultifi will seamlessly integrate important aspects of customers’ digital lives, enabling, for example, facial recognition to start the vehicle’s engine or communication with a smart home to adjust the thermostat. The platform will be designed with external developers in mind, enabling authorized third-party developers to innovate on behalf of GM’s customers.