Would You Buy a Used Car From this Humanoid?


Hyundai has launched a customer services robot to deal with car buyers during Covid-19.  Premiered at a Seoul showroom, Dal-e (as opposed to Wall-e) some think this could be the future of vehicle sales.  We don’t think so, but it is fun.

At 1.16m in height (just under four feet in real money) Dal-e scoots up to a customer to, for example, ask them to wear a mask if he identifies that they’re not.  Hyundia says it can also ‘engage in an automated and smooth dialogue with customers’ (sounds a bit creepy) providing information on products and services.

Here at NTK Motors we’re not Luddites, but we’re sceptical about little AI-powered androids having a customer-facing role, apart from at some Comic-Con event.  And Dal-e looks very R2-D2 to us.

But it can process language (does that mean it can listen and talk?) and recognise faces. So for rudimental roles it’s being trialled on, then why not? Especially in these socially-distanced times.

If you speak Korean (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t?) you might enjoy this Youtube clip .

But should you be worried for the security of your job?  Is an AI robot threatening to replace salespeople?  Is it ‘eckers like.

But there is a serious message here.  This innovation, along with those Polestar ‘spaces’ (not showrooms!), are incrementally pushing the customer away from human interaction and towards a more clinical and automated way of buying a car.  How far will it go?  Keep an eye out for developments.