Artificial intelligence that controls your infotainment screen. A vehicle that can read your brain. Cars that can see around blind corners.
These are some of the automotive tech highlights of CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The event has increasingly become a way for automakers to preview their developments in car technology, from production-ready to wildly speculative. Here are three trends that could be coming to a car near you.
AI-POWERED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMS
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Both Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are showing how they will use artificial intelligence in a vehicle’s infotainment system to turn it into a personal assistant. It’s technology that, for now, is confined to smartphones or smart speakers.
Hyundai’s Intelligent Personal Agent is a voice-control technology that was co-developed by Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc., which specializes in voice-enabled AI.
The intelligent part of such software is its ability to recognize multiple commands. For example, if you ask it, “Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and text the kids to remind them about soccer practice,” it would recognize two separate commands in the same sentence and complete each task accordingly.
Hyundai’s technology functions much like Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. It’s designed to respond to commands but also to proactively aid drivers by, for example, reminding them of upcoming meetings and recommending a departure time based on traffic conditions.
The system activates with the wake-up voice command, “Hi, Hyundai.” Once queried, the AI-powered agent can help make a phone call, send text messages, search destinations, search music, check weather and manage schedules. It also allows drivers to use voice control for frequently used functions such as controlling air conditioning, sunroofs and door locks. Hyundai plans to install the Intelligent Personal Agent in new models as early as 2019.
Mercedes-Benz is also debuting a new infotainment interface for its compact vehicles that’s based on artificial intelligence and what it calls an “intuitive” operating system. There are few details on the system’s capabilities so far, but the system is expected to make its way to some vehicles on the lower end of Mercedes’ lineup this year. The display itself looks like the dual widescreen setup that Mercedes used in late-model E- and S-Class sedans.