Citroen’s luxury cars get built-in ChatGPT for the ultimate AI copilot experience

A car dashboard showing ChatGPT integration
(Image credit: DS Automobiles)

Citroen's premium brand, DS Automobiles, has announced that it has added a ChatGPT-powered chatbot to vehicles fitted with its DS Iris System, its in-house speech recognition software.

According to the French automaker, the addition of ChatGPT will let the driver maintain "maximum concentration on the road", while bombarding the DS Iris System with complex requests and questions that the software will be able to handle.

Some of the examples DS Automobiles cites are beyond parody, with the company suggesting drivers ask it for "the most beautiful cultural or artistic places to visit during a trip to Bordeaux, or to list the most beautiful works kept at the Louvre Museum". How very French.

Perhaps more useful is the ability to ask the ChatGPT-powered system to invent a quiz on a chosen subject, or even to create a children's story during a trip.

According to DS, this system will be available in an entire range of cars by the end of the year, including the DS 3 crossover, DS 4 hatchback, DS 7 SUV and DS 9 saloon. 

Any of those vehicles fitted with the DS Iris System will be offered the AI chatbot at no extra cost during a six-month pilot stage, although it has failed to mention subscription costs thereafter and it is only available to customers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

ChatGPT in DS Automobiles

(Image credit: DS Automobile)

Designed to handle detailed requests without the need for the driver to take eyes off the road, the DS Iris System is activated by saying "OK Iris" or by the driver pressing the dedicated button on the steering wheel. Voice interaction with the chatbot then starts, without the need for drivers to take their eyes off the road.

Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer of Stellants, parent company of DS Automobiles said: "Even knowing all the inner workings and binary computations that allow ChatGPT to interact with its user, there is a certain fascination with how this conversational artificial intelligence model works. Its ability to interact is certainly one of the most striking applications of AI of the past year around the world. 

"Since ChatGPT has been available, we've worked to integrate it into our own systems. And we are pleased to be the first to offer this innovation in Europe. This development is part of Stellantis' strategic focus, within the Dare Forward 2030 strategy," he adds.

The robots are coming... for our cars

Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

DS Automobiles isn't the first carmaker to experiment with AI and ChatGPT within its vehicles, as Mercedes-Benz announced this summer that it would add the same technology into its own MBUX infotainment systems. 

According to the German marque, this is available to any customers wanting to participate in a trial period. All owners have to do is  say "Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program" and ChatGPT will be added via an over-the-air update.

Similarly, Kia recently announced its plans to further leverage chatbots both in its car and within accompanying smartphone apps, with the idea that customers can ask simple conversational questions, such as "when does my car need its next service" and get detailed responses with the ability to book slots with a local dealer.

However, Kia wouldn’t be pinned down to a particular AI service, stating instead that it was working "with some of the best".

It is interesting to see that both DS Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz are initially running the integration of AI as a pilot program. Presumably so the robots don’t suddenly take over and make off with our vehicles. 

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