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January 9, 2017updated 13 Jan 2017 11:22am

CES 2017: Five smart car releases with virtual assistants

All the big smart car releases that will have added virtual assistants announced at CES 2017.

By Hannah Williams

As the CES 2017 show ends, it’s clear that various announcements have been made regarding smart cars from some of the biggest tech firms.

The show brought forth many announcements from the smart car industry, with big automotive makers revealing how cars and connectivity can partner up.

With Artificial intelligence and virtual assistants becoming popular, not only in the smart home, CBR lists the top five car and virtual assistant partnership announcements from CES 2017.


Nissan & Microsoft Cortana

Following the announcement of its partnership with Renault-Nissan Alliance, Nissan also unveiled a demonstration of how Microsoft’s Cortana can improve a driver’s experience.

The demonstration showed how the addition of Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana, can make driving more efficient and seamless.

Nissan announced that it plans to add Microsoft Cortana to some of its cars in the near future, with plans work with Microsoft further on its Connected Vehicle Platform. This will also utilise Azure and Office 365.

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The platform will include a selection of different pre-integrated services to help car manufacturers in building better software.

This includes Microsoft Cortana in the dashboard of vehicles, maps and navigation and also Microsoft-powered AI, which will predict when a transmission failure may occur.

Want to know what other automotive makers are to hit the market with a similar release? Click to the next page.
Ford & Amazon Alexa

Ford became the first car manufacturer to embed Amazon’s assistant Alexa into its vehicles as the automaker announced that it will offer real-world integration with Amazon’s popular smart home device.

The partnership will enable Ford owners to be able to play audiobooks, order items on Amazon and also search for and transfer local destinations to the in-car navigation system.

Ford is to release the Amazon Alexa integration in two phases, the first to be made available towards the end of January 2017, connecting users to their car from the home through Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap.

The second phase is expected to be released in summer 2017, allowing users to command Alexa whilst driving.

To see what other virtual assistant will appear in a smart car, see next page.
BMW & Microsoft Cortana

BMW is the second car manufacturer to embed Microsoft Cortana with its new ‘BMW Connected’ platform.

The platform enables BMW owners to access a number of different digital services both inside and outside their cars and the company is using Microsoft’s assistant to enhance the experience.

The company described the feature at the show saying: “BMW Connected can provide a reminder en-route of an upcoming appointment for which no location has yet been fixed, and Cortana can be used to make a suitable restaurant recommendation and reserve a table.”

BMW and cortanaThe addition of Cortana in BMW cars is to come with voice-controlled commands, reminders of their schedule while driving and also perform internet searches- just like with the Nissan and Cortana partnership.

It has not yet been disclosed when the feature will be released in BMW cars.

What other big automotive maker could be in the running to bring a virtual assistant to its cars, find out on the next page.
Hyundai and Google Assistant

Prior to the CES show of the year, Hyundai revealed its partnership with its Blue Link Agent for the Google Assistant as part of plans to increase the connection between cars and the home.

Demonstrated at CES 2017, the company revealed how the digital experience will enable the control of different functions of a Hyundai vehicle, all with simple voice commands.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric car with Google home assistant.

Some of the commands were described as “OK Google, Tell Blue Link to start my Santa Fe and set the temperature to 72 degrees,” “OK Google, ask Blue Link to lock my car” and so on.

The Google home voice-activated speaker is known to provide real-time answers, activate streaming music services, smart home devices and now the addition of cars.

The service hasn’t reached production stage but is expected to be made compatible with vehicles later in 2017.

To find out the final automotive maker delivering something different to the smart car industry, click next page.
Toyota Concept-i

Lastly, Toyota took a different angle by demonstrating its new futuristic concept car at the show named Concept-I, which includes its own digital assistant, Yui.

This comes as part of the car makers’ vision for the next generation of mobility. The Concept-I and Yui feature is to unveil a round coloured light at the centre of the console, indicating Yui is ready to engage with the vehicle’s occupants.

smartThe AI assistant greets drivers, discusses travel plans, and provides navigation assistance and other features. If the owner prefers to drive, Yui can be put on guard to assist and warn of potential road hazards.

It utilises a single wide-screen, 3D, full colour head-up display that blends into an interior that is clean and uncluttered.

Toyota reveals that Concept-I will enhance the relationship between car and driver.


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