Long after Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri found their way into vehicles and automobile manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz started creating their own in-house renditions, Czech car company Skoda this week premiered its own digital assistant, named ‘Laura.' On September 25, Skoda, the Czech automobile manufacturer founded over a century ago, announced that it had created its own in-car digital voice assistant, set to debut in the Kamiq SUV and Scala hatchback. This online-based voice assistant responds to "Okay, Laura" and, according to the company, "understands natural speech", no need to follow designated command formants.
"Okay, Laura!"#SKODA presents its new Digital Assistant – to be featured in the #SkodaKamiq & #SkodaScala. LAURA understands natural speech in six languages & can even cope with dialects. pic.twitter.com/h6KmEUJmof— ŠKODA AUTO NEWS (@skodaautonews) September 25, 2019
It comes as part of the brand's range-topping Amundsen infotainment system. Laura understands six languages as well as difficult dialects to make the human-software interaction more conversational. When the assistant detects that the driver or a passenger is making a command, any music or content playing over the speakers will automatically lower. In addition to controlling elements offered with the infotainment system like navigation and music, Laura can take dictation for a text message. In the future, Skoda plans for Laura to be able to engage in "a kind of digital small talk." Though the company has plans to expand the digital assistant to other models in their portfolio, Laura is currently only available for the Kamiq and Scala.