AI, NLG, and Machine Learning

Chatbots on Wheels: Moving Cars into the Future

Chatbots are not only helping customers make educated decisions about car purchases, but also they are helping them drive those cars.

By Adam Westin
September 26, 2019

Whether for customer service or to learn about a specific product, an increasing number of consumers are turning to chatbots for solutions. According to Salesforce, 58 percent of customers say chatbots have changed their expectations of companies. We’ve seen the increased purchase effect that chatbots have on regular items, such as clothing, groceries, and entertainment, but what effect do they have on big ticket items, like automobiles?

Purchasing a car can be a stressful process, often filled with pressure to make a buying decision—even without all the pertinent information. With the advancement of chatbot technology, customers can now simply find information on a company’s website and can chat with a bot to get specific questions answered. Dealerships are even implementing car dealer chatbots on their websites to better connect with potential customers. And customers are using chatbots in the car-purchasing process because they take the pressure out of car buying, while giving customers the information they really need.

Your bot chauffeur

Chatbots are not only helping customers make educated decisions about car purchases, but also they are helping them drive those cars. Automation and machine learning are more commonly being integrated into driving technology. Gone are the days when customers were satisfied with leather seats and four-wheel drive. Now they’re looking for vehicles with the latest technology. So what are car manufacturers doing to give customers what they want?

They’re getting smart—chatbot smart, that is. And, although we don’t exactly have car bots rolling down the street, chatbots are already impacting how you get from here to there. You may be familiar with ride-hailing apps, like Uber and Lyft, which empower communication between driver and rider. It’s never been easier to call a ride. And, because chatbots learn from your behavioral patterns, they can more precisely pinpoint your location when you repeatedly use the apps. With the rise of ride hailing, the automotive industry is on a mission to make driving an improved and irreplaceable experience by infusing technology into car models.

3 ways you’ll see chatbots in your car in the future

Voice assistance

Chatbot technology is advancing to change the communication not only between drivers and cars but also between cars and other vehicles. We already use our phone’s chatbots, commonly known as Siri, Bixby, and Google Assistant, for help when our hands aren’t free, but now these same advances are being infused into our car’s dashboard technology to create an automotive chatbot. Vehicles have been rapidly improving in integrated technology and are now moving to include AI driving assistance and chatbots, through voice assistance, to guide cars on which direction to take.

Vehicle diagnosis

Imagine if your car could tell your phone when it needed service or could predict your next flat tire. Although still in development, automotive chatbot technology will have the capability to send car owners diagnostic reports. These reports will notify you if your car needs oil or is low on gas—or even if you left your lights on. This technology can also help your auto mechanic determine problems more accurately and see maintenance trends.

Autonomous cars

As we get closer to a world full of autonomous cars, the role of chatbots will increase. Because chatbots learn from user interaction and patterns, they can be used to help choose routes that avoid traffic. They can also better ensure the safety of passengers by avoiding dangerous intersections and routes. In the future of the autonomous car, bots will be integral in the connection between the car and the passenger.

As chatbot technology becomes more readily available, it has the potential to transform the automobile industry, while making transportation easier, safer, and even more enjoyable for passengers.