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Volkswagen adds ChatGPT voice control to its cars

Written By Phill Tromans

Volkswagen IDA with ChatGPT

Popular artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT has been integrated into the latest Volkswagen infotainment system, adding new capabilities to several models in the brand’s range.

The technology can be found in new examples of the ID. electric car range (the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, ID.7 and ID.Buzz), as well suitably equipped Golf, Tiguan and Passat models. It bolts on to the existing VW voice control system, known as IDA, and Volkswagen hopes it’ll dramatically improve the voice-activated experience.

ChatGPT should enable drivers to use much more natural language when using IDA, and have search results read out to them.

What does ChatGPT add to the Volkswagen infotainment system?

The existing VW infotainment system lets drivers control features like music and streaming services, navigation and climate control using the IDA voice assistant, which is similar to systems like Siri on Apple devices or Alexa on Amazon products. IDA could also answer limited questions, but the introduction of ChatGPT should dramatically expand its capabilities.

The system uses ChatGPT 3.5 Turbo, and Volkswagen says the possibilities are considerable, suggesting drivers could, for example, ask about nearby tourist attractions, solve maths problems on the move or – perhaps because the feature was announced during the Euro 2024 tournament – give you information about past football competitions. All this can be done without any button or screen presses and without the need to take your eyes off the road.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz Review 2024: front dynamic
The VW ID.Buzz is just one of the cars that will carry the new ChatGPT-enhanced infotainment system

Does ChatGPT only come in new Volkswagens?

Any car with the latest infotainment system will have the feature included, but VW customers that have an existing VW Connect or VW Connect Plus account can also use ChatGPT through IDA.

In this situation, you can use IDA in the same way as you do now – by saying Hello IDA or pressing the relevant steering-wheel button. IDA will initially work as normal, but if it can’t answer a query it will automatically (and anonymously) consult ChatGPT.

What about data privacy?

Volkswagen says that ChatGPT will never get access to vehicle data, and that questions and answers are deleted immediately in the name of data protection. Drivers can also deactivate IDA completely in the Volkswagen app or through the infotainment system’s settings.


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