VW Shows ChatGPT Integration At CES, BMW Intros New Gaming Functions

Volkswagen is unveiling vehicles in which the artificial-intelligence-based chatbot ChatGPT is integrated into its IDA voice assistant.

The automaker is presenting the new functionality in cooperation with technology partner Cerence Inc. at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Volkswagen is the first volume manufacturer that will offer Chat GPT as a standard feature. Starting with the second quarter of 2024, it will be an option for production vehicles in Europe including the ID.7, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.3, as well as its new Tiguan, Passat and Golf vehicles.

The automaker says the feature “is being considered for the United States.”

It will offer a “multitude of new capabilities that go far beyond the previous voice control,” the company says.



For example, the hands-free IDA voice assistant already can be used to control the infotainment, navigation and air conditioning, or to answer general knowledge questions. In the future, AI will provide additional information in response to questions that go beyond these functions.

One important note for privacy hounds: ChatGPT does not gain access to vehicle information, so personal data is protected.

Meanwhile, BMW’s presence at CES 2024 is dedicated to the digital customer experience. The company is presenting new infotainment features for its current model line including innovations in video streaming and in-car gaming for current models.

In conjunction with the optional BMW Digital Premium offer, owners of BMWs with Operating System 9 have access to a BMW ConnectedDrive Store extended with third-party apps. This app store offers a constantly growing range of apps for music, news and gaming. 

In the future, more games will be added via this channel, including games that can be played with full-fledged gaming controllers. 

BMW is presenting such a gaming experience for the first time at CES 2024 with “Beach Buggy Racing 2” offering customers an action-packed racing game experience that is reminiscent of the major console classics. 

In split-screen mode, two players can compete against each other in the vehicle with their gaming controllers. Common, Bluetooth-enabled gaming controllers can be connected to the infotainment system in just a few steps. The controller connection will be available over-the-air for BMW Operating System 9 over the course of 2024.

With the AirConsole app, BMW and Mini customers can already play single and multiplayer games in the vehicle today. The games are easily accessible to everyone, as the smartphone becomes a controller and enables simple, easy-to-learn operation. The range of games on the AirConsole app in the vehicle is constantly being developed.

BMW developers worked with Xperi, Inc. to optimize the TiVo Operating System -- which has already been successful in the Smart TV sector -- for in-vehicle video streaming, integrating the DTS AutoStage Video Service powered by TiVo. The entertainment offerings include both live channels and on-demand media libraries.

The platform was first introduced in the new BMW 5 Series and is now being rolled out over-the-air to other luxury class models.

Owners of vehicles with BMW Operating System 9 have also had access to the video app in conjunction with BMW Digital Premium since the end of 2023, with other vehicles following in 2024, including BMW X2 and all models in the new Mini family.

The video app is now available in the USA, UK, South Korea, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and soon will be coming to Japan. The portals available across countries include Pluto TV, Bloomberg, TED, Yahoo and Chili. 

Separately, the automaker announced that the next generation of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will soon become more powerful over the course of the year in vehicles with BMW Operating System 9.

The system has been using artificial intelligence for speech processing "for a long time," acceding to the automaker, and this demo is the latest proof of the continued innovation BMW and its partners are bringing to customers. 

Complex processing capabilities, which enable human-like interactions and dialogs, had not yet been integrated into the existing Intelligent Personal Assistant. Such capabilities are now made possible by "Large Language Models," which are AI models designed to process human language at a high level and generate responses accordingly. 

The BMW Group says it is also taking steps to build a “safe and trusted experience for customers,” and will continue to test and iterate these LLM capabilities over time with its partners.

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