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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

General Motors Gets On The AI Chatbot Wagon

Updated: Sep 13, 2023


According to a report from TechCrunch, General Motors is now using Google Cloud’s conversational chatbot, referenced as Dialogflow, to address its non-emergency OnStar features.


GM introduced the alliance alongside a keynote from Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai at the Google Cloud Next 23 event Tuesday.


OnStar, GM’s in-car concierge, has been powered by intent-recognition algorithms that use Google Cloud’s conversational artificial intelligence since its release in 2022. Today’s progressive developments grant it the ability to provide motorists with replies to typical inquiries like travel routes and direction assistance.

Mike Abbott, executive vice president of software and services at GM

The effort to enhance OnStar’s capabilities is in alignment with GM’s broader vision to construct a $25 billion subscription business by 2030.


“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,” said Mike Abbott, executive vice president of software and services at GM. “Our software-led approach has accelerated the creation of compelling services for our customers while driving increased efficiency across the GM enterprise. The work with Google Cloud is another example of our efforts to transform how customers engage with our products and services.”


As of 2019, GM has been producing new vehicles with Google built-in, meaning the cars are built with Google Assistant, Maps and Play, able to be accessed via the vehicles’ infotainment systems. In April, GM stated that it would be discontinuing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which give drivers the ability to mirror their smartphone screens in the vehicle’s dashboard display, in support of Google built-in.


GM says that with the help of Dialogflow, its OnStar virtual assistant is now handling more than 1 million customer inquiries per month in the United States and Canada. The service is available in most model year 2015 and newer GM vehicles.


The chatbot has aided OnStar in better understanding a customer’s request the first time it’s spoken and can respond with a “modern, natural sounding voice,” according to GM.


Alongside travel routing and navigation, OnStar’s chatbot can assist with simple queries from the non-emergency OnStar blue button in GM vehicles. GM says the chatbot can also identify phrases and words that may indicate an emergency circumstance and promptly direct the call to a human advisor.


Dialogflow also has the ability to answer customer questions regarding GM vehicles and product features based on technical knowledge from the automaker’s vehicle data caches. Customers can ask the bot about GM’s new 2024 EV lineup or how to use new tech features in their vehicles.

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