Microsoft and TomTom Partner To Create Conversational AI Assistant for Cars – RetailWire

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This week, TomTom has announced that it will be partnering with Microsoft to create a fully integrated artificial intelligence (AI) powered conversational automotive assistant for the global automobile industry, reports Engadget.

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The company hopes that the AI will offer more sophisticated voice interaction and enable users to communicate naturally to ask the smart helper to guide them to their destinations, find places to stop on the way, and even adjust other things in the car like the music and temperature, simply by speaking. This system connects with Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, using big language models to make it work.

The digital mapping expert TomTom, which is also known for its GPS platforms, promises that its voice assistant will be suitable to blend with many car systems made by major automobile companies, explaining that “the auto company will retain ownership of its branding.”

In the past, other companies have tried to integrate generative AI such as ChatGPT into cars. Last June, Mercedes tested ChatGPT in some cars for about three months. They used Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI as well.

According to Just Auto, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for manufacturing and mobility, Dominik Wee, said, “We’re building on our longstanding collaboration with TomTom and bringing together AI advances across the Microsoft Cloud with TomTom’s automotive expertise to provide drivers and carmakers with new AI-powered tools. This integration will enable OEMs to offer highly differentiated and unique cockpit experiences, while preserving their unique brand identity.”

This new technology will implement OpenAI’s broad language model as well as Microsoft products such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Cognitive Services.

Speaking to Reuters this October, finance chief Taco Titulaer said that TomTom saw new opportunities in generative AI and was “investing time and money and people” into this technology.

So far, there have been no announcements about finalized partnerships with any known car manufacturers. However, the technology will be built into TomTom’s proprietary Digital Cockpit, an open, modular in-vehicle infotainment platform.

Back in 2016, TomTom and Microsoft initiated their collaborative work with Microsoft on the Azure Maps location system, and both companies then went on to grow their partnership to mapping data and services for Microsoft’s first-party maps.

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