Bringing generative AI to the automotive industry

TomTom and Microsoft have teamed up to bring powerful AI to driving, with the collaboration promising a safer more intuitive overall experience

Prepare to ditch the clunky buttons and frustrating menus, because the future of in-car interaction is here, powered by a remarkable partnership between TomTom and Microsoft

This collaboration leverages the magic of generative AI (GenAI) to transform cars into a conversational companion, seamlessly understanding natural language requests and making driving an intuitive, enjoyable experience.

The vision behind the collaboration is this: you hop into your car, greet your friendly AI assistant by name, and effortlessly ask it to navigate you to wherever you want to go. No more dealing with phone apps or squinting at maps. The AI, armed with TomTom's precise location technology and Microsoft's cutting-edge Azure OpenAI Service, takes you away.

The future of automotive technology

However, the focus isn’t just on navigation. This AI assistant is the car's in-car control centre which is able to control things such as the temperature and music, with the ease of a natural conversation.

“Together with Microsoft, our shared vision is to drive innovation with generative AI and provide our customers with even better solutions,” says Mike Schoofs, Chief Revenue Officer at TomTom.

“Leveraging our navigation and technology expertise, we’re creating a groundbreaking new way for people to interact with their vehicles. With both companies integrating what they do best into one solution, we’re transforming the in-vehicle experience, enabling drivers to ask their car for anything and trust it will deliver.”

This technological advancement is a result of TomTom's expertise in mapping and navigation, combined with Microsoft's AI expertise. TomTom's real-time traffic updates and precise maps ensure users reach their destination efficiently, while Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service give the assistant the ability to understand natural language.

A significant evolution in collaboration

The partnership signifies a major progression in the ongoing collaboration between TomTom and Microsoft, initiated in 2016 when TomTom started providing location services for Azure Maps. Over time, the collaboration has extended to encompass mapping data and services for Microsoft's proprietary maps.

The updated emphasis in TomTom and Microsoft's partnership is on fostering innovation in automotive solutions powered by generative AI. The goal is to develop advanced in-vehicle digital cockpit and infotainment solutions integrated with cloud analytics.

Dominik Wee, Corporate Vice President for Manufacturing and Mobility at Microsoft, explains: “With this next generation of AI, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation across the entire automotive sector.

“We’re building on our longstanding collaboration with TomTom and bringing together AI advances across the Microsoft Cloud with TomTom’s automotive expertise to provide drivers and carmakers with new AI-powered tools.”

Seamless integration in the automotive industry

One of the main benefits of this solution lies in its flexibility. Automakers can seamlessly integrate the AI assistant into their existing infotainment systems, customising the interface to match their brand and driver experience. This means drivers will get a familiar feel with the added bonus of cutting-edge voice control, making the transition to this new way of interacting with a car smooth and effortless.

For drivers seeking a complete in-car overhaul, TomTom's Digital Cockpit platform comes pre-loaded with the AI assistant, offering a comprehensive solution for infotainment and driver interaction. The benefits of this AI-powered transformation are huge, as the technology promises to enhance driver safety, reduce distraction, and personalise the driving experience, making every journey more enjoyable and convenient.

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