Meet Chris, the car-based Alexa for drivers
Chris is being called the “Alexa for cars” and claims to be the world’s first digital assistant for drivers.
Chris enables drivers to receive and reply to texts and WhatsApp messages, listen to music from their phone, follow navigation instructions, and make and receive phone calls using an intelligent speech and hand gesture recognition technology on a glanceable full-colour screen display.
If this sounds a little familiar, I reported about the Garmin Speak last year, but I believe it never reached these shores.
Besides, Chris looks sleeker than the Garmin and appears to be gesture driven as well as touch. Moreover, this assistant has been designed especially for drivers.
Chris – Alexa for cars
Chris offers entertainment, connectivity, and navigation capabilities for drivers. Simply attach Chris to your windscreen or dashboard and connect it with your smartphone via Bluetooth. Additionally, Chris plays nice with both iOS and Android.
The device enables drivers to receive and reply to texts and WhatsApp messages, listen to music, and follow navigation instructions. Naturally, it also allows for making and receiving phone calls.
All of this is achieved using intelligent speech and hand gesture recognition technology on a glanceable full-colour screen display.
Furthermore, unlike other emerging voice assistants, Chris is specifically designed for drivers.
That means it offers a more human-centric user experience that proactively communicates with the driver. It even works offline when there is no mobile signal.
If a WhatsApp or text message comes in Chris will read it out, listen to your reply and send it accordingly. No more secretive typing at traffic lights or peeks at the phone.
The unit is powered by advanced Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technologies that make you feel like you’re driving with a human co-driver, delivering information to you when you need it most.
New, harsher laws were introduced on March 1st. In a recent survey conducted by the RAC 89% of the 1,727 drivers asked said they were aware of the law change, more than a quarter (26%) of those who knew of the tougher penalties admitted to regularly using their devices behind the wheel.
If these results were duplicated across the 40 million UK drivers, it could mean at least 9.2 million motorists are habitually breaking the law.
Holger G. Weiss, CEO of German Autolabs, told us
In this age of digital dependency, despite the harsh penalties and safety risks they face, a significant number of drivers persist in using mobile phones when driving. Chris offers drivers a safe, legal, hands free alternative. Through the combination of voice, hand gestures and the display, it is easy to use and reliably does what you want it to do. Chris makes your drive smarter and safer by keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.”
Price and availability
German Autolabs will be launching Chris at IFA Berlin 2018 (August 30th – September 5th). It will have an RRP of £299.