Alphabet leased cars know when they want to go to the carwash
Alphabet is working hard on innovation and digitalisation. The leasing company now comes up with an algorithm that predicts the best time for the user to wash the car.
The predictive algorithm about when you should visit a carwash is an Alexa skill, Amazon’s voice assistant and artificial intelligence. The programme Alexa works with in this case is called Alphaguide. Using the same programme, a lease driver can also search for, say, petrol stations or garages.
Finding a petrol station or garage can be seen as a clever application of artificial intelligence, but the carwash forecast goes a step further. Seven different variables are calculated so that the AlphaGuide skill predicts the best time for the next wash within the next four days. Think for example of the weather forecast or when the previous wash was.
Fabian Kölle is working on digital mobility at Alphabet in Germany. He explains what the variables are. The algorithm takes into account the time of day, for example, and when it last rained. If it is freezing, for example, it is not advisable to wash in the morning, while in summer it is not advisable to wash in the sun. The next rainstorm, for example, is also taken into account, because if the carwash customer drives his clean vehicle over wet roads immediately after washing, the enthusiasm for a clean car is quickly gone.
Nearest car wash
The Alexa skill AlphaGuide can be used via apps, smart speakers and in the car when the Alexa app is connected to the vehicle. Any user of an Amazon Alexa voice assistant can already use the AlphaGuide for free. To do so, the Alexa skill AlphaGuide must be activated with the words “Alexa, open AlphaGuide”. The car wash forecast can then be retrieved.
If the algorithm cannot calculate a suitable time for a wash in the next four days because the variables do not provide a time, no recommendation is made and Alexa asks the user to ask again later. Those using the AlphaGuide with a mobile device or in the car are automatically directed to the nearest car wash.