General Motors Teams Up with Google Cloud on AI Initiatives

Companies share new details on AI collaboration and announce future generative AI explorations

Style Magazine Newswire | 8/29/2023, 10:09 a.m.
General Motors and Google Cloud today shared new details on how the two companies collaborated to bring conversational AI technology ...

General Motors and Google Cloud today shared new details on how the two companies collaborated to bring conversational AI technology into millions of GM vehicles, helping drivers in a variety of ways. Since its launch in 2022, GM’s OnStar Interactive Virtual Assistant (IVA), has been powered by advanced, intent-recognition algorithms that use Google Cloud’s conversational AI technologies, providing OnStar Members with responses to common inquiries, as well as routing and navigation assistance. The successful deployment of Google Cloud’s AI in GM’s OnStar service has now opened the door to future generative AI deployments being jointly piloted by GM and Google Cloud.

“Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the buying, ownership, and interaction experience inside the vehicle and beyond, enabling more opportunities to deliver new features and services,” said Mike Abbott, executive vice president, Software and Services, GM. “Our software-led approach has accelerated the creation of compelling services for our customers while driving increased efficiency across the GM enterprise. The work with Google Cloud is another example of our efforts to transform how customers engage with our products and services.”

GM’s decision to collaborate with Google Cloud in exploring new, business-wide generative AI applications builds on a journey the two companies began together in 2019 when GM named its first vehicles with Google built-in. Since then, the number of GM vehicles with Google built-in has grown, giving customers easy access to Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play, directly from their vehicles’ center displays. That collaboration soon expanded to the deployment of Google Cloud’s conversational AI technology, Dialogflow. With this technology, GM’s OnStar virtual assistant is now handling more than 1 million customer inquiries a month in the U.S. and Canada and is available in most model year 2015 and newer GM vehicles connected by OnStar.

“General Motors is at the forefront of deploying AI in practical and effective ways that ultimately create better customer experiences,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud. “We’re looking forward to a deepened relationship and more collaboration with GM as we explore how the company uses generative AI in transformational ways.”

GM’s OnStar Interactive Virtual Assistant (IVA), which launched in 2022, uses advanced AI-based, intent recognition technologies powered by the Google Cloud’s Dialogflow technology to provide OnStar Members with routing and navigation assistance, including turn-by-turn directions. The OnStar IVA assists with common inquiries initiated by the non‑emergency OnStar blue button push in GM vehicles, but also endeavors to distinguish phrases and words that may signify an emergency situation and help to quickly route the call to OnStar’s specially trained emergency Advisors.

With this technology, OnStar has been better able to immediately understand a customer’s question or request the first time it is spoken, providing a response with a modern, natural sounding voice. Customers hear the same familiar OnStar “voice” whether they are sitting in their vehicle or calling on the phone and have reacted positively to experiences on calls without hold times. With the OnStar IVA successfully helping GM customers requesting navigation assistance, OnStar Advisors have been able to spend more time with customers with requests that require a human touch.

Additionally, GM is leveraging Google Cloud’s Dialogflow technology to deploy chatbots that can conversationally help answer customer questions about GM vehicles and product features based on the technical information from GM’s extensive vehicle data repositories. With this technology, customers can get quick answers to questions like, “Tell me more about GM’s 2024 EV lineup,” or learn how to take advantage of new technology features in their vehicle. These chatbots are active across GM’s corporate and vehicle brand websites, bringing additional convenience to customers looking for specific vehicle related information.

GM’s initiative to place Dialogflow into its OnStar technology will earn technology industry recognition at Google Cloud’s annual Next event in San Francisco. Among a heavily competitive pool of companies across industries using Google Cloud technologies, GM stood out for its successful and broad deployment of AI, earning it a “Talent Transformation” award.