The New Kia EV3 Will Feature a ChatGPT-Powered AI Assistant


The Kia EV3 — the newly unveiled all-electric compact SUV — demonstrates a growing trend among global automakers to integrate generative AI into their vehicles.

Kia announced that the EV3 will come with a new voice assistant based on ChatGPT, the AI chatbot from OpenAI. The Kia EV3, featuring this AI assistant, is set to launch in Korea in July 2024, followed by a European release in the latter half of the year. Kia aims to gradually roll out the EV3 to additional regions after its European debut, including an eventual launch in the United States, though a specific date has not been provided.

However, this isn’t solely an OpenAI project. Kia was also actively involved in the development of the voice assistant.

Pablo Martinez, Kia’s head of customer experience design, clarified that while the large language model (LLM) powering the AI assistant is ChatGPT from OpenAI, it has been “heavily modified” and tailored by Kia. These customizations enable the assistant to help customers plan trips, control the vehicle, and find entertainment such as music or games. Martinez shared these details during a media briefing prior to the reveal.

Kia EV3 interior
Image Credits: Kia

Voice assistants in vehicles are not a novelty, but user experiences have varied from ineffective to infuriating. Automakers such as BMW, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen argue that generative AI will significantly improve voice assistants, making them more conversational and interactive with drivers and passengers.

Discussions about implementing generative AI in vehicles gained momentum last year as the topic, and OpenAI, surged in popularity. Mercedes-Benz integrated the conversational AI-bot into its MBUX infotainment system in June 2023. By January, BMW and Volkswagen were showcasing the technology at the CES tech trade show in Las Vegas.

The so-called Kia Assistant was initially introduced in April in the Kia K4, a new gas-powered compact sedan hitting the market this summer. The Kia EV3 marks the first all-electric vehicle in Kia’s lineup to feature the new AI-based assistant.

Kirsten Korosec
Kirsten Korosec
Senior Reporter & Editor. Kirsten specializes in transportation/autos and technology. She also likes numbers.

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