GM Enhances OnStar Service with Google-Powered AI Chatbots

GM Enhances OnStar Service with Google-Powered AI Chatbots
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GM (GM) revealed what it has been up to with Google and its generative AI technology – using AI chatbots to do a number of tasks, even talking to customers via its OnStar in-car concierge.

Since 2022, GM has been using a product known as the OnStar Interactive Virtual Assistant (IVA), powered by Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) Cloud conversation AI tech to provide OnStar customers with custom responses to questions like routing and navigation assistance. Google Cloud’s conversational AI technology, known as Dialogflow, is now handling more than 1 million customer inquiries a month in the US and Canada on OnStar. GM says the AI chatbots work on most model year 2015 and newer GM vehicles connected by OnStar.

GM says the OnStar IVA services usually deal with non-emergency services in GM vehicles, but will in the future be able to distinguish between certain words and phrases that may signal an emergency and then route those requests to emergency response operators.

From a user experience point of view, GM says customers hear the familiar OnStar “voice” when using OnStar’s IVA service, and have “reacted positively” to experiences on calls without hold times.

GM says the use of this technology has allowed OnStar employees to handle more complex tasks and that in the future IVA will answer more involved requests around buying, ownership, and other in-car experiences in GM vehicles.

GM’s collaboration with Google’s Dialogflow technology is happening alongside Google’s Cloud Next conference, which started Tuesday in San Francisco.

GM and Google have been cementing their technology relationship, starting with deeper integration of Google products like Maps and Music into the in-car experience, and will be deepening that partnership with a native Google infotainment system coming to its future cars, starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV. GM’s move with Google infotainment means it will drop the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto “phone projection” systems, which has customers and even GM dealers concerned.

GM is also using non-Google-powered AI technology, announcing earlier this year that it is using ChatGPT to help customers find answers to questions in the owner’s manual, program functions like integrated garage door openers, and integrate schedules in the car from an online calendar.

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