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Walmart Moves Into Connected Cars With Voice AI

Native Voice, Walmart, partnerships, AI, Voice AI, connected cars

Conversational AI company Native Voice has teamed with Walmart to bring Voice AI to vehicles.

The partnership, announced Tuesday (Nov. 7), will see the retail giant sell Native Voice’s “onn.” wireless FM transmitter. 

“Best suited to vehicles that do not offer a Bluetooth connection, the FM Transmitter plus Native Voice App can be tuned to the car’s FM radio to instantly upgrade the listening experience,” the companies said in a news release. 

According to the release, device users can listen to podcasts, radio stations or artists using the “Hey iHeart” function or check out news or sports from “Hey TuneIn.”

“We know that using voice is the fastest and easiest way to access the content you love on the go so we’re excited to bring the Native Voice library of voice AIs to the car in partnership with Walmart,” John Goscha, Native Voice’s founder and CEO said in the release.

“With plug and play setup, and backed by the enormous content catalogs of iHeart and TuneIn, this is the easiest way to make your car smarter and distraction free,” he added. 

The partnership comes at a moment when the “Voice Economy is gaining momentum as consumers turn to voice technology for a variety of tasks,” as PYMNTS wrote last month.

The most common tasks performed using this technology include viewing TV or playing music, transferring money, and ordering taxi services or groceries, as well as more complicated actions with larger risks, such as paying bills or setting up a bank account.

According to “How Consumers Want to Live In the Voice Economy,” a PYMNTS Intelligence study that examined consumers’ views and attitudes toward voice technology, 65% of consumers in the U.S. have used voice technology in the past year, and 21% completed a purchase with a voice assistant. 

This share is even greater for millennials, with 30% of them saying they have paid recurring bills over the last year.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster explored the rise of connected car commerce earlier this year in a conversation with Mercedes pay CEO Nico Kersten, whose company had recently rolled out its in-car payment service.

However, “it’s not just Mercedes-Benz vying for a slice of the growing pie,” PYMNTS said. “As 5G mobile technology matures, the automotive industry is beginning to embrace digital payment infrastructure to cater to the growing number of connected cars on the road.”

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