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ChatGPT May Revolutionize Automotive Infotainment and Technology

POR: Alex Perrone
Team of Automotive Engineers Working, Using Computers to Design Advanced 3D Models

Since the early days of the automobile, carmakers have sought to introduce ever-increasing levels of automotive technology to their offerings. General Motors gets credit for the first automatic transmission in a production car (in the 1920s), while Packard introduced power windows in 1941. Today, advanced features like automatic emergency braking and touchscreen infotainment screens are taken for granted in the latest cars.

But technology is a moving target as automakers seek to one-up each other with the latest systems and features. For now, these advances often include semi-autonomous driving systems like Tesla’s AutoPilot, Ford’s BlueCruise, and GM’s Super Cruise.

But what’s on the horizon for the automotive industry? One technology under consideration is ChatGPT.

What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is the subject of numerous recent tech news reports touting how this artificial intelligence (AI) system can replace the need for writers, reinvent how internet search engines deliver results, and alter interactions with computers and computer code.

OpenAI, a San Francisco-based startup, developed ChatGPT as an easier way to work with computerized systems (like virtual assistants) and extract content. Open AI programs call it natural language processing. In other words, you can ask ChatGPT a question in conversational terms, and the system will generate a straightforward answer in the form of a single, written response.

Enter “Who won the World Series in 1975?” into Google, and you’ll get “Cincinnati Reds” as the main answer, along with “about 374,000,000 results.” Ask ChatGPT the same question (via a written entry into the system’s interface), and it will reply onscreen with, “The Cincinnati Reds won the World Series in 1975, defeating the Boston Red Sox in a dramatic seven-game series.” That’s it; just a simple, conversational response.

What’s missing, for the moment, is verbal interaction with ChatGPT, like how smartphone users rely on Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. But, those systems merely repeat a specific search engine result. The idea is that someday a person could speak to a ChatGPT-enabled device, and the system would reply with a spoken AI-based answer. For now, ChatGPT is accessible via an onscreen AI chatbot. A browser extension is available for a more conversational AI experience with ChatGPT, but the new technology has a long way to go.

This next generation of ChatGPT is what’s brewing among automakers.

How ChatGPT Can Enhance Cars

One company jumping on the ChatGPT bandwagon is General Motors. “ChatGPT is going to be in everything,” a GM executive told Reuters in March, as the company announced a collaboration with Microsoft to expand on this cutting-edge technology. Microsoft recently became a significant investor in OpenAI’s chatbot and may implement it into their Bing search engine.

A GM spokesperson added, “This shift is not just about one single capability like the evolution of voice commands, but instead means that customers can expect their future vehicles to be far more capable and fresh overall when it comes to emerging technologies.”

Mercedes and other automakers are also exploring ChatGPT. So, what could this AI technology mean for car owners in the future?

Infotainment Systems

Many current infotainment systems use rudimentary voice commands to control navigation, the sound system, and other functions. ChatGPT would take things to the next level with an interactive experience and one better suited to the variations in how humans ask questions. For instance, current voice control systems typically require a request to be spoken in a very structured way, such as “tune to 94.3 FM.” A more advanced platform could allow for greater personalization, like “play my favorite radio station” or “find me a radio station with traffic reports.” The opportunities are almost limitless.

Personalization can go much further. For instance, a driver could ask, “What is an option within an hour’s drive of Chicago for spending an afternoon outdoors?”

And receive a voice reply like “Indiana Dunes State Park: Indiana Dunes State Park is located in Chesterton, Indiana, about 50 miles southeast of Chicago. It is a beautiful park with sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and hiking trails. You can spend an afternoon swimming, sunbathing, hiking, or just enjoying the views of Lake Michigan.”

That’s an actual response from the current ChatGPT system (dubbed GPT-3). Other interactions could involve requests to recommend new music, places to eat, or driving routes.

Customer Service

The owner’s manual for a modern vehicle can be hundreds of pages long, making finding information challenging. A quick request of a future ChatGPT-based system (which could be installed in the car or available on an app) can instantly provide access to the necessary details. The information could be presented on screen or via voice.

Similarly, a conversation with ChatGPT could help diagnose problems, schedule service appointments, and provide maintenance reminders. It’s not too difficult to imagine the technology serving as an advanced AI concierge, like Siri or Google Assistant on steroids.

Vehicle Safety

There are opportunities for OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology to improve vehicle safety and provide assistance after an accident. An advanced voice command system with an interactive voice response will help drivers keep their eyes on the road.

Other features could include a driver monitor that engages during long trips or advises if a mechanical issue is detected. In an accident, an advanced ChatGPT system could be the first line of support, contacting emergency services and advising vehicle occupants on what to do.

Autonomous Driving

With more and more companies rolling out and upgrading semi-autonomous driving systems, incorporating ChatGPT into this technology is a logical next step. Voice control could help manage the system, while ChatGPT interacts with the driver providing destination details, vehicle status, and other pertinent information. Importantly, ChatGPT could ensure continued engagement with drivers using hands-off systems.

Understanding the Risks of ChatGPT

It’s easy to get captivated by the newest technology. However, as we often discover, the next best thing isn’t perfect, at least not initially. And ChatGPT is no different. Three primary areas of this technology must be improved before anyone will ever see a ChatGPT-based system in their car.

A Smooth Interface

For the moment, a robust ChatGPT voice interface is still a pipe dream. Anyone using a current vehicle voice command platform knows a thin line separates usefulness from frustration. For ChatGPT to be truly helpful in a car, there can’t be any glitches. A user needs to be able to make requests in a conversational tone while accurate results are delivered in a naturally spoken format.

Easily Understandable Results

The information that ChatGPT provides needs to be delivered so that it’s easily understandable. And for now, the system is a work in progress. Some answers are given in a very conversational tone, while others are overwhelming. Here’s an example.

Ask ChatGPT, “What is ChatGPT?” and you’ll get the long-winded reply, “ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI, based on the GPT-3 architecture. It is designed to understand and generate human-like language and can be used for a variety of natural language processing tasks such as text completion, translation, summarization, and conversation. ChatGPT has been trained on a massive amount of text data from the internet. This allows it to generate coherent and relevant responses to a wide range of prompts and queries.”

Chances are you tuned out after the first line or two. Yet, by asking ChatGPT, “In a sentence, describe what ChatGPT is,” the system responds with, “ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that can understand and generate human-like language for various natural language processing tasks.” That’s a more digestible answer. In other words, ChatGPT needs to become more human-like in delivering information. The algorithm still requires work.

Accurate Information

Speaking of information, it needs to be accurate and up-to-date. According to OpenAI, the current ChatGPT AI model may provide incorrect results. Plus, the technology is currently lacking in events and news after 2021. Presumably, this won’t be the case when the ChatGPT AI tools get installed in vehicles.

Endurance: Helping Today and Tomorrow

Understanding how vehicles may change in the future is exciting, but that doesn’t help those worried about breakdowns and surprise repair bills. When something goes wrong, a vehicle protection plan (also called an extended warranty or vehicle service contract) from Endurance is ready to help today and tomorrow. Endurance offers a wide range of coverage options, from primary powertrain protection to a Supreme plan similar to a new car warranty.

Best of all, every Endurance program comes with Asistencia en carretera 24 horas al día, 7 días a la semana, rental car reimbursement, trip interruption protection, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plan holders also enjoy flexible payment terms and the ability to choose any Mecánico certificado ASE for repairs.

All new Endurance customers can also receive a free year of Elite Benefits. Paying a small activation fee opens access to valuable services worth up to $2,000. Plan holders can take advantage of tire repairs and replacements, collision repair discounts, and key fob replacement.

Discover everything Endurance has to offer by shopping online or requesting a free, no-obligation quote by calling (800) 253-8303.

You can learn about AI and machine learning, car care tips, DIY maintenance, make and model comparisons, and more on the Blog Endurance.

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