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TomTom Unveils AI-Powered Conversational Automotive Assistant

A Partnership with Microsoft Paves the Way for More Natural and Sophisticated Voice Interaction on the Roads

NEWS  News  December 19, 2023  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

TomTom, renowned for its GPS platforms, has recently unveiled plans for a "fully integrated, AI-powered conversational automotive assistant". This innovative technology is poised to redefine how drivers interact with their vehicles, offering a more sophisticated voice interaction that allows users to navigate, find stops along a route, control onboard systems, and even perform tasks like opening windows—all while focusing on the road.

TomTom's Strategic Partnership with Microsoft

Central to the development of this advanced automotive assistant is TomTom's strategic partnership with tech giant Microsoft. Leveraging the capabilities of OpenAI's large language models, alongside Microsoft products such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Cognitive Services, TomTom aims to deliver a cutting-edge assistant that capitalizes on the latest advancements in artificial intelligence.

Azure Cosmos DB, a multi-model database, and Azure Cognitive Services, a set of APIs designed for AI applications, contribute to the robustness of TomTom's conversational AI. By combining these technologies, TomTom seeks to provide a versatile and capable assistant that caters to the diverse needs of drivers.


Integration with Major Automobile Manufacturers

TomTom promises seamless integration of its voice assistant into a variety of interfaces offered by major automobile manufacturers. Notably, the company emphasizes that the branding of the automotive companies will be retained, suggesting that this innovative AI technology could become a staple in cars from various makers. While specific partnerships with vehicle manufacturers have not been officially announced, TomTom assures that the technology will be embedded into its proprietary Digital Cockpit—an open and modular in-vehicle infotainment platform.

Digital Cockpit: TomTom's In-Vehicle Infotainment Platform

At the heart of TomTom's automotive innovation is the Digital Cockpit—an open and modular in-vehicle infotainment platform designed to seamlessly integrate advanced technologies. The integration of the conversational AI assistant into the Digital Cockpit promises a holistic driving experience, combining navigation, entertainment, and control functionalities within a single, user-friendly interface.

Building on the Industry's Momentum

While TomTom's announcement marks a significant step forward, it is worth noting that other players in the automotive industry have also explored integrating large language models (LLMs) into vehicles. In June, Mercedes initiated a three-month beta program that incorporated ChatGPT models into select vehicles, leveraging Microsoft's Azure OpenAI service. TomTom's unveiling of its AI at CES in January holds the promise of shedding more light on the practical functionality and user experience of this conversational automotive assistant.

As the automotive industry continues to embrace AI-driven innovations, TomTom's collaboration with Microsoft signals a potential evolution of in-car technology. The CES showcase will likely provide a closer look at how this AI-powered assistant works in real-world driving scenarios, potentially paving the way for a new era of intelligent and intuitive vehicles. Stay tuned for updates as TomTom brings us closer to a future where our cars become not just transportation vessels but intelligent companions on the road.




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