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Skoda to launch voice-controlled digital assistant called Laura

September 29, 2019driversclub

We’ve got used to having Alexa in the house and Siri on the go, but now you can have a digital assistant in the car – if you happen to have a Skoda, that is.

Laura’s here to help

The brand has announced that it will soon be launching its very own voice-controlled helper in the Kamiq and Scala models, who is to be named Laura.

We can already imagine human Lauras being a little disgruntled by this, but it’s only the 168th most common name in the UK (according to the Office for National Statistics), so presumably, the brand selected it with a view to annoying as few people as possible.

Skoda’s Laura will be able to understand natural speech and can be controlled using a simple ‘Okay, Laura’ or even a ‘hey, Laura’, so you won’t have to push any buttons to activate her.

She can carry out functions like navigating drivers to their desired destinations, searching for a favourite song, dialling contacts or dictating text messages.

What’s more, Laura speaks six languages – English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Czech – and can understand a variety of dialects.

You can even bark more than one command at her at once without having to wait for an answer to the first one, and she’ll helpfully lower the radio during a conversation in order to hear more effectively.

Skoda said it hopes to use Laura to strengthen the connectivity and infotainment options in its vehicles and intends to fit the assistant to more models in the coming years.

It’s even planned to equip her with better controls going forward so she can carry out a kind of digital small talk, which could be great for anyone who gets lonely by themselves in the car.

Steve Clarke, marketing manager at Drivers Club News, comments: “With digital assistants being so commonplace everywhere else, it was inevitable that we’d eventually see them in cars. Let’s hope we don’t hear ‘sorry, I don’t know that’ from Laura quite as much as we do from certain other products, though!”

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