Infiniti has unleashed a new weapon in its war with other luxury brands—a personal assistant.
No, Infiniti buyers won’t get their own personal concierge riding shotgun, but they will be able to call one 24/7.
Accessible either through the car’s Bluetooth system or the owner’s cell phone, and offered gratis to all new Infiniti buyers, the Infiniti Personal Assistant system will allow users to get driving directions, directory services, city guides, sports scores, weather forecasts, dining advice, movie times, emergency assistance, travel assistance, consumer reviews, trivia, schedule reminders, and stock quotes.
Infiniti’s announcement comes just as Ford Motor Co. reveals it is beta testing the new Operator Assist program. Until now focused on using an on-screen or synthesized speech interface, the Detroit maker is providing access to a live operator for locating businesses and getting turn-by-turn directions.
The world of so-called infotainment technology has been expanding rapidly and is becoming increasingly competitive as makers rush to out-do their rivals with new features. But manufacturers are also discovering that while technology like Personal Assistant and Sync can win over tech-savvy fans, it may also frustrate some, typically older, customers.