Virtual Assistance becoming reality in the next generation cars

Virtual assistance is becoming the reality and new driving companion. In the near future drivers will have company of speech-activated virtual assistants — Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. It is going to be, for sure, important and useful gadgets because it can remind the driver not to forget to fulfill daily activities, such as buying things, or tell the driver that he’s driving the wrong way, even inform that the house stayed unlocked.

Mark Boyadjis, an analyst at IHS Automotive, said virtual assistants are going to become a bigger part of our lives. But automakers should be careful about balancing the convenience the assistants bring with their potential distraction. “The last thing you want is more distraction in your life,” Boyadjis said, adding that automakers need to employ assistants “intelligently without being annoying.”

Amazons Alexa in the next models of Ford, Volkswagen, Cortana in Nissan and BMW

Main auto makers implementing virtual assistance in their next models. At this month CES, in-car virtual assistants were the hot new thing. Ford Motor Co. announced it was the first to integrate Alexa into its vehicles. The next day, Volkswagen said it would be integrating Amazon’s voice-operated virtual assistant into upcoming cars. Nissan Motor Co. said it would offer Microsoft’s Cortana assistant in its vehicles. BMW demonstrated Cortana in its vehicles throughout the week.

Amazon Alexa lets drivers play audiobooks, control the navigation and order items from Amazon, but in general which feature will be implemented in the car depending from the model is purchased.  If drivers have an Amazon Echo speaker or similar devices in their homes, they can then unlock, lock and start their cars. With Microsoft Cortana, drivers can sync digital tasks usually stored on personal devices, such as appointments and to-do lists, with their vehicle.

Automakers say virtual assistants, for now, make life seamless from your home, car and office. But analysts say the technology might be an entry point into a world where driving and shopping can happen at the same time, and where marketers can target drivers as they pass their favorite stores. Though the goal is to make life more convenient, automakers risk annoying drivers if they give marketers too much freedom inside the car.

Voice-operated assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Google Voice have become commonplace in consumer electronics, but voice controls in vehicles, which are filled with buttons and knobs, are still foreign to most drivers.

Eventually, virtual assistants will be able to predict and address consumer needs. By using machine learning, the software can recognize each driver’s preferences and can do several things — such as mapping the fastest route somewhere or ordering dinner — using the cloud. Assistants will also anticipate consumer demands, suggesting discounts or routes to frequently visited locations.

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