Skoda has launched its new digital assistant named “Laura” in its Kamiq City SUV and the compact Scala models. The top range models which come with the Amundsen infotainment system also have “Laura” and all that is needed to activate the digital assistant is “Okay, Laura!”. Laura is billed as an enhanced voice control system that even has the capability to understand natural speech. Hence, there is no need for drivers to adhere to a set of predetermined commands or phrases.
Laura is available in six languages and it can even understand dialects of these six languages. The online-based voice control system can answer queries about a wide range of topics and obeys commands. It can commence navigation to a desired destination, find a favorite song or even take dictation for an SMS for those who are driving and do not want to take their eyes off the road. The six languages that Laura supports are English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Czech. Laura can understand even difficult dialects of these languages. The Skoda Kamiq and Scala are always online, thanks to the use of an on-board eSIM card which is included as standard. Thus, Laura can seamlessly combine on-board and online data and respond quickly and flexibly to any situation. Coccupants are not even aware of the transition between online and offline services as it is so seamless.
Drivers have the option of stopping their conversation with Laura at any time and using a new command, without having to wait for the system to complete an answer. This significantly enhances response times. When Laura is being used, the volume of the radio or media player is lowered rather than muted completely, and this adds to the feel of a natural, relaxed conversation.
Skoda will be continuously working on further development, improvement and expansion of Laura and the upgraded versions will be available in upcoming models. It is expected that in future, Laura will be able to control certain vehicle functions and even respond more flexibly to complete sentences. Other potential applications that could be available in the future include ŠKODA areas outside of the vehicle – such as mobile and web apps, as well as the online configurator. Laura’s launch further positions the two new models from Skoda as infotainment and connectivity pioneers in their respective segments.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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