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What will the new in-car experience look like?

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 3 min read
What will the new in-car experience look like?
The new Audi Q8 e-tron is holoride-capable, and the capability can help reduce motion sickness for passengers. Photo: Audi
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Automakers are redesigning their cars to not only be more environmentally friendly but also become a digital experience and entertainment platform.

Since July 2023, Audi has been integrating YouTube into the infotainment systems of selected car models – and this enhancement will soon be available in the new cars coming to Singapore. “[This allows] Audi owners to enjoy a seamless digital entertainment experience. They can view live streams, stay updated on current affairs, and enjoy other content while taking breaks or charging their cars,” says Markus Schuster, managing director of Audi Singapore.

He also shares that the Audi Q8 e-tron incorporates highly advanced virtual reality (VR) technology, with Singapore cars being able to enjoy this function in the near future. “With its modular infotainment kit and holoride capabilities, rear-seat passengers in Audi Q8 e-tron can put on VR glasses and immerse themselves in games, films, and presentations — with virtual content adapting to real-time car movements — making car rides a multimodal experience.”

Cars are set to become smarter too, as AI gets embedded into in-car systems. “AI in cars emerged as a big theme in this year’s CES, with nearly all major automotive electronic original equipment manufacturers embracing the incorporation of AI into vehicle controls and user interactions,” notes Sharad Somani, partner and head of KPMG ESG at KPMG in Singapore.

Volkswagen, for instance, is planning to integrate ChatGPT into its IDA voice assistant for some of its vehicles this year. This allows drivers to verbally control basic functions like infotainment, navigation, and air conditioning, as well as get answers to general knowledge questions in a more conversational manner. The automaker says that feature will offer more capabilities in the future, which can help enrich conversations, enable drivers to interact and receive vehicle-specific information in intuitive language, and more – purely hands-free.

See also: Can Google get its mojo back?

ChatGPT is seamlessly integrated into the IDA voice assistant for selected Volkswagen cars. Photo: Volkswagen

AI is also being used to enable autonomous driving. Schuster shares: “The Audi concept car series — the skysphere, grandsphere, urbansphere, and activesphere — is designed with Level 4 autonomous driving in mind and offers a preview of Audi’s future production models. Drivers can fully delegate responsibility to the vehicle and need not intervene, empowering designers to push the boundaries of the car’s interior and exterior design.”

Somani is optimistic that driverless cars will soon hit the roads. “According to KPMG’s 24th Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey, one manifestation of new technology is autonomous ride-hailing and delivery with a growing expectation of a faster introduction in major cities. By establishing strategic partnerships, embracing innovative business models, and adopting a forward-looking approach, companies can position themselves for a future where autonomous cars and taxis become integral to the urban transportation landscape,” he says.

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