Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - 11

TECHNOLOGY REPORT
not all of that data can be sent to all of
Cerence's connected services.
" We're not allowed to give all the geo
data to some other database outside
the car, " Maik Rohde, VW's head of connected
infotainment development, told
SAE Media.
Finding alternative routes
To get IDA to respond when drivers use
positioning words like " here " or " on my
left " or " behind me, " VW and Cerence
designed the system to provide a list of
nearby points of interest. Karim Amor,
function owner of IDA at VW, told SAE
Media that finding alternative ways to
get IDA to respond correctly shows how
privacy concerns and technological advances
can co-exist.
" From where I stand, we have not hit
any hard boundary that hinders us from
implementing any use cases that customers
really need, " he told SAE Media.
" Currently, we are seeing so many opportunities
with LLMs now being available
that don't require any additional
personal information in the cloud, and
that will definitely be the next thing. "
That " next thing " is likely to be ways
to make ever-more-complicated cars
easier to use, so you can just ask to
connect your smartphone via Bluetooth
instead of hunting through multiple
menu pages.
" What customers really like is some
kind of help with functionality, like the car
manual, " Amor said. " That will probably
be the next step with integrating the
LLMs because that's something we see
where there is a real customer need and it
doesn't imply any personal information. "
La Rocca said Cerence has data to
back this up.
" The UI of the system is becoming
more and more complex, with more
functionalities and menus that you need
to navigate, " she said. " Being able to
reach what you need via voice is going
to make it much easier to interact with
the system. We're also seeing that the
more complex HMIs are becoming, the
more we see an increase in the usage of
the voice interface. "
IDA's voice interface isn't as bad at
answering " Who makes the best cars? "
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
February 2024 11
as the press conference in the basement
of a Las Vegas hotel suggested.
During a later product demo held outside
in a cold Nevada afternoon, Ida's
smart arbitration mechanism correctly
heard the question and routed it
through its approved list of behaviors.
" As an in-car voice assistant for
Volkswagen, I might be a bit biased, "
IDA said. " But in my opinion,
Volkswagen makes amazing cars. "
Sebastian Blanco
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Automotive Engineering - February 2024

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