The latest innovation in driving is a virtual assistant coming to a car near you sooner than you think.
Car makers are integrating personal assistants that will help manage the vehicle and keep you connected to you home and smartphone while driving.
The latest is Jaguar’s Sayer.
Sayer joins the ranks of Apple’s Siri, Micrsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby.
Some have been with us for some time living in our phones, computers, tablets and home speakers.
Sayer is different. The voice assistant will not live in the car, but is a detachable unit for the steering wheel that goes with you wherever you are – at home, at work or at play.
Jaguar say Sayer will obey commands that give a user the ability to monitor vehicle systems, find out about the weather or even to control gadgets in a smart home.
But unlike rivals, Sayer is designed for car sharing, so rather than own your vehicle, you will call up an autonomous vehicle as and when needed.
“Sayer will be the only part of the car you actually own,” said a Jaguar spokesman.
When you finish your journey, you will unplug Sayer from the steering wheel and take the unit with you. When you need another car, Sayer will call one up for you and you will slot the unit back into the car retaining your profile and preferences.
“Simply ask Sayer from the comfort of your living room and it will work out when you get up, when a car needs to autonomously arrive at your door and even advise which parts of the journey you might enjoy driving yourself,” said the spokesman.
Pay as you go?
And the name? Sayer is called after a Jaguar designer from the 50s and 60s – Malcolm Sayer.
The future of motoring is surely about to change.
Instead of owning a car, drivers will more than likely have a contract like a phone offering fixed usage or pay as you go rates.
The problem is each manufacturer is likely to have a different virtual assistant, much like smart home hubs work at the moment.
In a matter of time, it’s likely a winning system will emerge that will dominate the market, but until then it does not seem financially sensible to tie-in with a brand.