GM provided fresh details of its collaboration with Google Cloud to bring new artificial intelligence (AI) technology to its OnStar Interactive Virtual Assistant (IVA), a process that has been ongoing since the companies teamed up in 2019 to further develop the feature.
Google Cloud’s Dialogflow conversational AI technology is currently powering the OnStar virtual assistant, which The General says is currently providing answers to more than a million owner questions monthly in North America.
The OnStar virtual assistant, accessible via the non‑emergency OnStar blue button, provides several useful features for owners of 2015 model year or later GM vehicles. The IVA can help with navigation, providing vehicle owners with “turn-by-turn” directions and other guidance. The virtual assistant also listens for verbal cues indicating there is an emergency and connects to OnStar emergency advisors if it hears these phrases.
Additionally, powered by the improved Dialogflow technology from Google Cloud, the OnStar assistant provides answers to various questions about GM products. This includes giving instructions on how to operate technology features in the current vehicle, along with answering more generalized questions, the query “tell me more about GM’s 2024 EV lineup” being used as an example by GM.
Use of Google Cloud technology has also enabled GM to use a more natural human voice for OnStar, according to The General. Vehicle owners feel more comfortable with the recent OnStar voice, per GM claims. As a result, customers are more comfortable having navigation questions answered by the AI, leaving human OnStar advisors free to handle more crucial, emergency-related calls.
The General also hints at plans to develop new conveniences available through the OnStar IVA. Software and Services vice president, Mike Abbott, remarked that “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.”
GM announced in March that it is expanding standard availability of the OnStar Remote Access (RPO code PRF) to all 2024 Buick and GMC models, This three-year OnStar plan was already offered on most Chevy vehicles starting with the 2023 model year. The OnStar Premium Plan (RPO code R9M) will be optional on most trims but standard on the range-topping Buick Avenir and GMC Denali trims.
However, OnStar availability has officially ended for 2014 and earlier GM model years as of the end of calendar 2022.