Hyundai Introduces Robot Car Salesman

Hyundai has created a robot salesman in the shape of DAL-e who is programmed to answer customer questions when buying a new car.

The automaker claims the bot can independently communicate with people using recognition capabilities and mobility functions. Its name, an acronym for the mouthful “Drive you, Assist you, Link with you-experience”, is equipped with artificial intelligence technology for facial recognition as well as an automatic communication system based on a language-comprehension platform.

It has started work as a pilot scheme at a Hyundai showroom in southern Seoul, where it is expected to be used in various fields that require everyday interactions with customers. Measuring 63-ins high by 24-ins square and weighing in at 176-lbs, the DAL-e is smaller and lighter than other customer service and guide robots in the market.

Hyundai says  that in the event that a customer enters the showroom without wearing a mask, the android recognizes it and advises the customer to wear one. In terms of its communication capability, it can engage in an automated and smooth dialogue with customers by providing useful information on products and services and responding to verbal and screen touch commands.

It employs omnidirectional four wheels to move about the showroom while offering information, such as explaining vehicles and technologies by connecting wirelessly to a large display screen at the venue, beckoning visitors to take photos with it and providing gestured feedbacks using its movable arms. The automaker suggests it staff workflow and could engage better with customers who do not prefer to be assisted by human staff in light of the Covid-19 circumstances.

Dong Jin Hyun, vice-president and head of the Robotics Lab at Hyundai Motor Group, said: “The DAL-e is a next-generation service platform that can offer automated customer services anytime. It is expected to become a messenger capable of delivering consistent messages to customers in a more intimate and personal way than conventional robots. With continuous updates and improvements, the DAL-e will provide fresh, pleasant experiences to our valued customers in a contact-free environment.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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