Volkswagen cars give an early taster of Apple’s approach to ChatGPT integration

The integration of advanced AI technologies into everyday devices is reshaping how we interact with them. While Apple’s integration of ChatGPT into its iOS ecosystem is still forthcoming, Volkswagen is offering an early look at similar capabilities through its latest cars. This article explores how Volkswagen is leveraging ChatGPT to enhance its built-in AI voice assistant, IDA, providing drivers with a seamless and intuitive driving experience.

Volkswagen’s IDA Voice Assistant

Many of the latest Volkswagen (VW) cars are equipped with an AI voice assistant known as IDA. This system allows drivers to use voice commands to control various in-car functions such as navigation, climate control, and infotainment services. Owners can activate IDA by saying “Hello IDA” or by pressing a button on the steering wheel.

VW Now Using Apple’s Approach to ChatGPT Integration

Apple announced a three-tiered approach to ChatGPT integration:

  • As many tasks as possible will be performed on-device.
  • Next in line will be its own AI servers, Private Cloud Compute.
  • The fallback will be a third-party AI system, with ChatGPT being the first to be used.

VW appears to be taking a similar approach, only without the second tier. As many commands and queries as possible will be processed in-vehicle by IDA. If IDA cannot handle them, they are passed off to ChatGPT.

How It Works

Volkswagen explains that through the IDA online voice assistant, the vehicle can answer questions on various topics. With the introduction of ChatGPT, the range of capabilities has significantly expanded. For example, the AI can now provide information on tourist attractions, report on past football tournaments, or help solve math problems. This all works intuitively: the driver simply talks to the assistant in natural language without needing to take their eyes off the road.

Volkswagen customers with an existing account for VW Connect/VW Connect Plus can use the IDA voice assistant as usual, without requiring additional access or an additional app. Queries that cannot be answered by the Volkswagen system are forwarded anonymously to ChatGPT, with responses provided in the familiar Volkswagen voice.

Privacy and Safety Measures

VW stresses that ChatGPT cannot identify the driver, only recognizing that a query comes from one of its cars. There are strict safety and privacy safeguards in place. ChatGPT does not have access to vehicle data, and questions and answers are deleted immediately to ensure optimal data protection. The online voice assistant can be deactivated in the settings area of the Volkswagen app or in the infotainment system’s privacy settings.


ChatGPT integration is available in Europe in all-electric ID models, as well as the latest Golf, Tiguan, and Passat. The company plans to expand this feature to the US soon. A VW Connect account is required.

Volkswagen cars give an early taster of Apple’s approach to ChatGPT integration
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