Meet Laura, the Skoda in-car digital assistant
Czech car company Skoda is premiering a new Digital Assistant which goes by the name of Laura (why is it always women who are used as voice assistants?)
Part of the Amundsen infotainment system, it is available for the new Kamiq as well as the compact Scala. Skoda claims the introduction of the new Digital Assistant strengthens the position of its two new models as infotainment and connectivity pioneers in their respective segments.
In Skoda vehicles equipped with the top-of-the-range Amundsen infotainment system, a simple “Okay, Laura!” will activate the enhanced voice control system – there is no need to push a button or do anything else. Skoda claims that Laura even understands natural speech, so drivers are not restricted to a set of predetermined commands or phrases.
- ŠKODA Digital Assistant to premiere in the Kamiq city SUV and the compact Scala
- Online-based voice control system called ‘Laura’ understands six languages
- New feature for the range-topping Amundsen infotainment system that has eSIM card included as standard
The new, enhanced and online-based voice control system can answer inquiries about a wide variety of topics and obeys commands. It will start navigation to a desired destination; find a favourite song or take dictation for an SMS. Laura supports six languages: English, German and French as well as Spanish, Italian and Czech. If required, the system can even understand different dialects.
With an on-board eSIM card included as standard, the Skoda Kamiq and Scala are always online, allowing Laura to combine on-board and online data.
Drivers can interrupt their dialogue with Laura at any time and use a new command without having to wait for the system to complete an answer. This helps to speed up response times. Moreover, during a conversation, the radio or media player volume is lowered rather than muted completely, which fosters the sense of having a natural, relaxed conversation.
In future, Laura will be able to control certain vehicle functions and respond with more flexibility to complete sentences. Other potential applications of the enhanced voice control system that might become available at a later date include Skoda areas outside of the vehicle – such as mobile and web apps, as well as the online configurator.