Škoda’s Kamiq SUV and Scala hatchback models will debut an advanced digital assistant capable of understanding natural speech in six languages.
Nicknamed Laura, the digital assistant comes as part of the vehicle’s Amundsen infotainment system and is activated by simply uttering the phrase “Okay, Laura”.
The online system can answer enquiries about a wide variety of topics and obeys commands involving navigation, finding a song, or taking dictation for a text message. Laura supports six languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Czech. If required, the system can even understand different dialects.
The Kamiq and Scala are fitted with van onboard eSIM card as standard, meaning the vehicles are always online. This allows Laura to seamlessly combine onboard and online data – and thus respond quickly to any situation.
Drivers can interrupt their dialog with Laura at any time and use a new command without having to wait for the system to complete an answer. This helps to speed up response times. Moreover, during a conversation, the radio or media player volume is lowered rather than muted completely, which fosters the sense of having a natural, relaxed conversation.
Laura is subject to continuous development, improvement and expansion and will eventually be able to control certain vehicle functions and respond with more flexibility to complete sentences, even enabling a kind of digital small talk. Other potential applications of the enhanced voice control system that might become available at a later date include Škoda areas outside of the vehicle – such as mobile and web apps, as well as the online configurator.
Interested in the user experience of vehicles of the future? The Future of Automotive Interiors Conference, hosted at Automotive Interiors Expo in Novi later this month, will have an entire session dedicated to the topic. Nikhil Gowda, Innovation project manager at Renault-Nissan will also talk in-depth about voice AI development. Find the full program, as well as rates and booking information here.