CZECH car maker Skoda is premiering a new digital assistant which goes by the name of Laura and understands natural speech.
Part of the range-topping Amundsen infotainment system, it is available for the new Kamiq SUV as well as the compact Scala hatch.
In 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 says that Laura even understands natural speech, so drivers are not restricted to a set of predetermined commands or phrases and the system understands dialects.
It can answer inquiries about a wide variety of topics and obeys commands. Laura 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
With an on-board eSIM card included as standard, the Kamiq and Scala are always online which allows Laura to combine on-board and online data and thus respond quickly to any situation.
The system will be available in upcoming models. In future, Laura will be able to control certain vehicle functions and respond with more flexibility to complete sentences, even enabling a kind of digital ‘small talk'.
Other potential applications of the enhanced voice control system that might become available at a later date include areas outside of the vehicle - such as mobile and web apps, as well as Skoda's online configurator.