General Motors (GM) and Google Cloud have unveiled new facets of their partnership aimed at integrating conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) into millions of GM vehicles. This initiative is not just a tech gimmick; it’s a real-world application that enhances the driving experience. Since its launch last year, GM’s OnStar Interactive Virtual Assistant (IVA) has been running on Google Cloud’s conversational AI technologies. These technologies use advanced algorithms to understand the driver’s intent, making it easier for OnStar Members to get answers to common questions and receive assistance with routing and navigation.

The Impact

This successful integration has set the stage for future projects involving generative AI, which could revolutionize how customers interact with their vehicles and even the entire ownership experience. Mike Abbott, GM’s Executive Vice President of Software and Services, emphasized that this software-led approach has not only created compelling services but also increased efficiency across GM’s operations.

The Journey So Far

The collaboration between GM and Google Cloud began in 2019, and since then, the number of GM vehicles with Google built-in features like Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play has grown significantly. This partnership expanded to include Google Cloud’s Dialogflow technology, powering GM’s OnStar virtual assistant. This assistant now handles over a million customer inquiries per month in the U.S. and Canada and is available in most GM vehicles from the model year 2015 and newer.

The Technology

The OnStar IVA uses Google Cloud’s Dialogflow technology to understand a driver’s intent and provide routing and navigation assistance. It can even detect phrases that might indicate an emergency, routing the call to specially trained OnStar Advisors. This has allowed OnStar Advisors to focus more on situations that require a human touch, enhancing customer service.

Beyond the Vehicle

GM is also using Google Cloud’s technology to deploy chatbots on its corporate and brand websites. These chatbots can answer customer questions about GM vehicles and features, pulling data from GM’s extensive vehicle repositories. So, whether you’re curious about GM’s 2024 Electric Vehicle (EV) lineup or want to understand the new tech features in your car, these chatbots have got you covered.

Recognition and Future Prospects

GM’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. The company will receive a “Talent Transformation” award at Google Cloud’s annual Next event. Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, expressed excitement about deepening the relationship with GM, especially in exploring transformative uses of generative AI.

The Takeaway

In a nutshell, GM and Google Cloud are not just tinkering with AI; they’re applying it in ways that make your drive safer, more informed, and more enjoyable. From emergency situations to simply finding the best route home, this partnership aims to make your vehicle smarter than ever.