In a groundbreaking move that positions Japan at the forefront of automotive and artificial intelligence innovation, SoundHound AI, Inc. has announced the integration of its voice assistant with ChatGPT technology into vehicles, a first for the Japanese market. This integration, realised through collaboration with Stellantis DS Automobiles, marks a significant milestone in the evolution of in-car experiences, offering drivers and passengers a new level of interaction with their vehicles.

The integration of SoundHound’s voice assistant technology with ChatGPT, an advanced generative AI, heralds a leap forward in the functionality and capabilities of in-car voice assistants. Known as Iris within DS Automobiles, this technology enables users to perform an array of tasks hands-free—ranging from opening the sunroof and making phone calls to accessing real-time parking information and receiving navigation assistance to recommended locations. However, the capabilities of Iris extend far beyond executing simple commands. Thanks to the generative AI integration, users can now inquire about cultural, geographical, and culinary information relevant to their location or destination, enhancing the travel experience.

Introduced in April 2023, SoundHound’s Chat AI became the world’s first in-vehicle voice assistant to incorporate generative AI. Since its debut, the technology has seen deployment in 18 countries and supports 13 languages, attesting to its sophistication and versatility. This rollout across DS Automobiles’ fleet signifies the first time that this cutting-edge technology has been brought into full production by an automaker.

One of the standout features of SoundHound’s voice assistant technology is its ability to drastically reduce the occurrence of “AI hallucinations”—instances where AI systems generate misleading or incorrect responses. By employing a proprietary combination of software engineering technology, referred to as CaiLAN (Conversational AI Language), and machine learning technology, named CaiNet (Conversational AI Network), SoundHound ensures that the assistant can provide fast, accurate, and contextually appropriate answers.

This technological advancement is not just about enhancing the in-car experience; it’s also changing how drivers and passengers interact with voice assistants. According to SoundHound AI, the integration of generative AI capabilities has led to a significant increase in the usage of in-vehicle voice assistants, with a reported increase of over 50% in usage among DS Automobiles’ customers. This heightened engagement aligns with findings from a 2023 driver survey conducted by SoundHound AI, which indicated a strong interest among regular drivers in leveraging generative AI for in-vehicle assistance.

The partnership between SoundHound AI and global automakers like Stellantis DS Automobiles is emblematic of the automotive industry’s shift towards incorporating more intelligent, AI-driven technologies into vehicles. With over 20 car brands leveraging SoundHound’s technology within just seven years, representing more than 25% of the automotive industry, it’s clear that the future of driving will be profoundly shaped by advancements in voice AI.

As vehicles become increasingly connected and intelligent, the integration of voice assistants with generative AI capabilities such as ChatGPT is set to redefine the driving experience, providing unparalleled convenience, accessibility, and engagement for users on the move.