Kia and Hyundai cars will include AI assistants starting in 2019

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Vehicles made by Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia will include built-in virtual assistants with AI-powered smarts beginning in 2019 (via Engadget). The plan to build smart assistants into vehicles will make use of tech created by SoundHound, the music identification company that has recently been focusing more on building AI agent software more akin to things like Siri and Google Assistant.

The assistants would be able to do things like suggest destinations based on what’s next in your calendar, or based on your past preferences and choices. They could also offer remote car and smart home control using voice commands, and do Alexa-like stuff including providing news and weather.

The so-called Intelligent Personal Assistant will get its official debut at CES this year, which is coming up in a couple of weeks – but it’s aiming to begin testing in actual cars on actual roads starting in 2018, with a broad ship window of 2019, as mentioned.

Kia and Hyundai might seem like they’re making a future-focused bet on in-car AI here, but it’s actually a growing trend and area of focus for automakers. Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all demonstrated concept versions of car-specific assistants they intend to eventually make available, for instance, and other automakers including Ford are working with Amazon and others to bring existing virtual assistants to their vehicles, too.