Published On: Tue, Jan 9th, 2024

Your VW car is about to get a smarter thanks to a clever free upgrade


There’s a huge update coming to Volkswagen cars that could make its voice control system smarter than ever. VW is turning to famous AI system ChatGPT, meaning that its in-car voice system will, according to the company, “feel human”. Think KITT from the 80s TV show Knight Rider and you’re on the right track.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence system that’s designed to have human-like conversations. The super-smart tech is especially good at creating responses, using information it has “learnt”, rather than only responding to specific prompts. The result is more conversational and natural, much more like talking to a person than a computer.

VW turned to Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor to showcase the new functionality in its advert that you can find on YouTube, in which McGregor asks about the formality of wearing a kilt – before driving off to find a kilt shop, with the AI tech providing all the answers.

The new AI will be integrated into VW models that offer the “Hello IDA” voice control system. That includes VW’s electric cars – the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.7 – while VW has also confirmed that you’ll get the ChatGPT system in the new Golf, Passat and Tiguan.

The aim here is to future-proof your car, with a chatbot-style system that expands the skills that your vehicle offers. When you say “Hello IDA” – or press the button on your steering wheel – the voice commands will swing into place. Normal functions like asking directions or changing a setting in your car will still be the priority, but when you ask something more complex, that’s when the AI will swing into action.

VW has assured us that nothing will change for the driver – there’s no need to make any new accounts or change the way you interact with your car’s voice control system, it will just be a lot more capable in the future. The best news is that this is going to be a standard feature on those VW models – and coming as soon as mid-2024.

The VW news has been announced at the CES technology show in Las Vegas and it’s not the only exciting update to be revealed.

Samsung has shown off a new transparent TV as well as a speaker that looks like a photo frame. There are also some new AirPods rivals from JBL and updates from LG including a wireless telly that’s invisible. 

Express.co.uk is in Las Vegas all week and will be bringing you all the latest news as it happens.



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