Hyundai is building its own in-car AI system

Hyundai Motor Group says it will launch a purpose-built Large Language Model (LLM) that will form part of the new infotainment operating system and AI voice assistant in upcoming passenger cars.Chang Hyun-sung, President and Head of New Transportation as a Service (TaaS) Division at Hyundai Motor Group, said, Pakistan Tech News In an exclusive interview, his department was already working alongside Naver, which Song refers to as “South Korea’s Google,” to collaborate on building its existing LLM model for use in future Hyundai models.“The problem with current LLMs is that they don’t have access to vehicle data,” Song told us during a discussion at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.“These models don’t have access to phone contacts, they don’t have access to car settings and driver data, which means current models can’t give users all the answers,” he says.

This year’s CES 2024 was full of big learning model announcements and press releases outlining upcoming AI assistants in vehicles. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have arguably been the most vocal, with the former announcing that it will be introducing ChatGPT to its cars, along with other Volkswagen Group brand Skoda.

However, VW has made it clear that ChatGPT will not be able to access vehicle information; Instead, its IDA voice assistant will handle vehicle requests.

Song said he wants to create a “hybrid” system that would send general questions to Naver and other chatbot providers for answers, but would also use the likes of Mapbox’s MapGPT intelligent location voice assistant for conversational navigation requests and Hyundai’s advanced voice assistant for car functions. The idea is that everything works in harmony, in theory.


Chang Hyun Sung CES 2024

Hyundai’s Chang Hyun-sung speaks at CES 2024 (Image credit: Hyundai)

Song didn’t reveal details, but a recent announcement from Mapbox said the pair are already working on a solution that would “enable drivers to use voice commands to control in-car systems, including climate control, windows, and music.” In addition to integrating popular external applications such as The table is open And TripAdvisor website In the upcoming navigation system, which Song says will arrive with a new infotainment platform in 2026.

“I love CarPlay, but right now, we can’t give that system access to the car’s data,” Song said. “I want our next infotainment system to be as much like CarPlay as possible, where everything in the car is taken care of.” “One ecosystem and one voice assistant,” he added.

Song, a former Apple and Microsoft employee, is also the founder of Naver Labs, the R&D unit of South Korea’s largest web search engine and global ICT brand Naver, which goes some way to explaining his decision to harness existing Naver research into his MBA .

Software is everywhere

Along with the infotainment system upgrades, Song’s tech industry talent (he’s the CEO of autonomous transportation-as-a-service startup 42dot) has been called upon to realize Hyundai Motor Group’s “Software-Defined Everything” (SDx) strategy, which according to the brand looks to… Transforming “all mobile devices, fleets and ecosystems into valuable assets through advanced software and artificial intelligence.”

This will have a major impact on Hyundai’s next big step, taking it beyond today’s privately owned cars and into a fully autonomous future.

“The focus in the next two years is to introduce a new infotainment system platform with integrated AI assistant and offer an application marketplace to customers,” Song explains, bringing the conversation back to the present.


Hyundai CES 2024

(Image credit: Hyundai)

“To do this, we open up our API to third-party developers and say ‘this is our data, try to improve what we have and leverage what we’ve built,’ so we can develop a killer app that uses our synthesized data to deliver more to the user,” he adds. “I think that’s what sets us apart from a lot of other OEMs, is the fact that we’re open.”

When asked if Hyundai was the first to do such a thing, Song mentioned Mercedes-Benz and the work the German auto giant is doing on its MB.OS platform, which also promises to connect vehicles to the cloud and the Internet of Things. There was also no information about what the “killer app” was.

“Initially, the market will offer services, such as user-based insurance, that use the car data capabilities I mentioned, but we don’t want to introduce too many features too early. We want the initial features to be closely integrated with the car,” Song adds.

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