Right now, asking your voice-activated personal assistant to help you buy a car may not sound like the most intuitive way to find your next set of wheels.
But as voice search technology becomes more sophisticated, experts predict that usage will increase and will continue expansion in industries like automotive.
What’s that got to do with you? Everything. Because as the artificial intelligence (AI) that powers Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google evolves to a person’s nuances – like the cadence of an individual’s voice, or the recommended types of vehicles that are best suited to an individual’s hobbies – car-shopping is going to become a lot faster and a lot easier for you.
Why would voice search be helpful in shopping for a car?
Picture this: your current car has run its course. It’s become a bit of a clunker, and you’re looking for something more reliable and attractive. You have a rough idea of the features you’re looking for – like fuel efficiency, seating capacity, and body style – but you have no idea where to start browsing for the right make and model.
So you turn to your trusty Amazon Echo, which you already use for tasks like ordering groceries and playing music on-demand. With a few instructions to Alexa about the kind of car you’re interested in learning more about, she helps you narrow down your options to a few listings on Autotrader that are near your location and a good fit for your lifestyle.
Here’s another scenario. You’re well-versed in cars, and you’ve had your eye on a particular make and model for a while. You’ve decided it’s finally time to take the plunge. Since you already have your dream car in mind, you can just give a few quick commands to your Google Home and have a list of nearby inventory emailed to your smartphone.
Wherever you are in the decision-making process, one thing is for certain: voice search engineers will continue to tailor personal assistant capabilities to car shoppers’ preferences, needs, and voices.
How else might voice search benefit drivers and riders?
Advanced voice search capabilities extend beyond the car research, shopping, and buying processes. There are many other voice search applications that promise to improve the lives of car owners and riders, both now and in the future. Here are some examples:
- Voice search can equip drivers with a hands-free solution so they can keep their eyes on the road and not on their smartphones. For example, voice assistants can read texts to drivers or way-find on command.
- Voice search has the potential to provide a quick way for drivers to schedule service appointments for their cars.
- Voice search can allow people to summon a ride-hailing service, like Uber or Lyft, without any typing required.
- Voice search can acquire fast, real-time updates on traffic.
- Voice search’s connected home capabilities have the potential to expand to garages, such as via smart garage door openers, anti-theft systems or even preconditioning a plug-in car.
As the conversation around voice search is amplified, car shoppers, owners, and riders alike will be able to make faster, more personalized choices…all just by speaking.
Voice Search Assistant Study. Cox Automotive Research & Market Intelligence. February 2019.
The Future of Digital Shopping. Cox Automtive Research & Market Intelligence. September 2018.