General Motors plans to integrate an artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant into its end-to-end vehicle software platform Ultifi, Detroit Free Press reports. The Ultifi platform, which is expected to be deployed in next-generation electric and internal combustion engine vehicles this year, will enable the frequent and seamless delivery of software-defined features, applications and services to customers over the air. This will enable new vehicle experiences and connect customers’ digital lives.
The platform is based on GM’s advanced electrical architecture, the Vehicle Intelligence Platform (VIP), which provides live capability, data bandwidth, cybersecurity and processing power.
GM President and CEO Mary Barra said an AI voice assistant could be one of 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 improve cars over time as they evolve through software updates.
Although 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 the company sees software and digital services as a core market and intends to dominate the transportation sector. The move to a software-defined vehicle system will not only be about the evolution of voice commands, but also about offering 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, customization options and new apps. This customization will reinvent the ownership experience, as enabled vehicles will have access to the latest software and capabilities.
Ultifi’s advanced cloud-based connectivity will seamlessly integrate important aspects of customers’ digital lives, enabling, for example, facial recognition to start the vehicle engine or communication with a smart home to adjust the thermostat. The platform will be designed with external developers in mind, allowing authorized third-party developers to innovate on behalf of GM customers.