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How Chatbots and AI will transform Automative Retail

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【Summary】Debuting at AutobilityLA 2016, Greg Shaffer, Director of Product Management at Edmunds is demonstrating through Facebook messenger to the audience a new AI chatbot that they’ve been doing research for years.

Original Claire    Nov 14, 2016 10:05 PM PT
How Chatbots and AI will transform Automative Retail

Chatbots, AI and messaging are poised to transform the world of retail. This will cause companies to rethink how they communicate with their customers. As the development of these technologies accelerates and consumer adoption grows, what will this mean for the industry? And how can OEMs and dealers keep pace? We have learned Apple Siri and Google Allo can not only provide the latest weather, traffic information and restaurants with best ratings nearby, but also tell jokes, and even chat as a would-be friend at times. By doing this, they demonstrate how chatbots can "act" more humane. But what next? 

Debuting at Autobility LA 2016, Greg Shaffer, Director of Product Management at Edmunds, demonstrated through Facebook messenger a new AI chatbot they've been doing research on for years. Through an interactive conservational layout, it will serve customers in a new way. This refers to customers who read their web pages while carrying out interactive conversations with the chatbots in order to get the car dealership information they desire most.

"We're always trying to stay ahead of the innovation curve." Shaffer said at the press conference. He mentioned that in surveys on customer's preference, 53% of people say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly, and one third of active users have transacted with a business in Messenger. He thinks that it's time for chatbots to be used in Edmunds' car info website. 

"We've been experimenting and developing the artificial intelligence messaging system for a number of years now. We do admit that there're lots of competitors currently, but we're in more of a ‘helping each other' scenario, we're all pushing the limits of artificial intelligence together and it's really interesting how much we share with each other on these things. So I think what's gonna come down to is the positioning of the services and what access we have with partnerships in different audiences," said Greg Shaffer when asked about how the chabot would compete with the other AI competitors in the market. He relayed this information to a FutureCar.com reporter covering the event. 

He added that customers won't wait long to see the product come to the market. Also, they're in talks on a few new partnerships with different companies. And now, as noted, they are demonstrating the chatbot through the Facebook messenger app.

"But if Apple Siri one day says they wanna come [to us] for cooperation ... we'd definitely love to work with them as well," said Shaffer. 

The Edmunds.com web site is an American online resource for automotive information, with headquarter based in Santa Monica, California. The website includes prices for new and used vehicles, as well as a database of national and regional incentives and rebates, dealer and inventory listings, vehicle test drive reviews, and tips and advice on all aspects of car purchases and ownership. In addition, the company circulates free e-mail newsletters to voluntary subscribers.

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