Published on January 27th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Hyundai’s DAL-e Robot Will Help Salespeople Sell Cars
DAL-e… looks like Asimo has a South Korean cousin.
COVID-19 has accelerated changes in the automotive scene. We’re all aware of how startups like Tesla are foregoing the traditional dealership model by selling cars directly to customers via their website.
However, as this is impossible in some markets, other carmakers are looking for other ways they can cut costs. Hyundai may have stumbled across a solution – replace your staff of salespeople with a staff of sales-robots! Sort of… Meet the DAL-e, Hyundai Motor Group’s first-ever customer service robot.
“DAL-e” stands for “Drive you, Assist you, Link with you-experience”. Kind of a mouthful. But the whole idea of it is pretty simple. During the pandemic, it’s understandably a lot tougher for salespeople to upsell cars to customers.
Human-to-human interaction is discouraged, what with social distancing and all that. DAL-e isn’t there to take away the salesperson’s commission (just yet), but it is there to do the parts of their job that just can’t be done effectively nowadays.
DAL-E can engage in automated and smooth dialogue with customers, providing useful information on products and services. It can also respond to verbal and touch screen commands. For now, all of this is in Korean, but we’re sure they’ll be working on other languages for deployment across the globe eventually.
This robot was developed by the Robotics Lab at Hyundai Motor Group. It was just deployed to a Hyundai Motor showroom in Seoul, South Korea and may soon also be deployed to Kia showrooms there too. It’s times like these when we miss Honda’s work with robots. Unfortunately, the ASIMO program has been shut down.
Here’s the press release with more.
Hyundai Motor Group has launched the “DAL-e,” a highly advanced customer service robot that independently communicates with people using precise recognition capabilities and mobility functions.
The DAL-e is an acronym for “Drive you, Assist you, Link with you-experience.” Designed to pioneer the future of automated customer services, the DAL-e is equipped with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology for facial recognition as well as an automatic communication system based on a language-comprehension platform.
“The DAL-e is a next-generation service platform that can offer automated customer services anytime. It is expected to become a messenger capable of delivering consistent messages to customers in a more intimate and personal way than conventional robots,” said Dong Jin Hyun, Vice President and Head of the Robotics Lab at Hyundai Motor Group. “With continuous updates and improvements, the DAL-e will provide fresh, pleasant experiences to our valued customers in a contact-free environment. Our objective is to enable the DAL-e to engage in a smooth and entertaining communication with customers and present valuable services to them.”
On January 25, Hyundai Motor Group announced the inaugural unveiling of the DAL-e at a Hyundai Motor showroom in southern Seoul, where the robot has commenced its pilot operation. Following the pilot operation, it is expected to be used in various fields that require everyday interactions with customers, such as other showrooms of Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation.
With its truncated, humanoid body exuding a welcoming appeal (measuring 1,160 X 600 X 600 mm and weighing 80kg), the DAL-e is significantly lighter and more compact compared to other customer service and guide robots in the market.
It is accoutered with friendly, emotive physical features for close interactions with customers. In the event that a customer enters the showroom without wearing a mask, the android recognizes it and advises the customer to wear one. In terms of its communication capability, it can engage in an automated and smooth dialogue with customers by providing useful information on products and services and responding to verbal and touch screen commands.
In terms of mobility, the DAL-e can move freely and escort customers to designated spots using its omnidirectional four wheels. Furthermore, it purveys entertaining information, such as explaining vehicles and technologies by connecting wirelessly to a large display screen at the venue, beckoning visitors to take photos with it, and providing gestured feedbacks using its movable arms.
At the exhibition hall where it is being pilot-operated, the DAL-e is credited with easing the staff’s workflow and offering hands-on help to customers, including those who do not prefer to be assisted by human staff in light of the Covid-19 circumstances, as well as those who visit the venue during busy peak times such as the weekend.
Hyundai Motor Group plans to continuously update the DAL-e based on data from pilot operations, perfecting its operational capabilities as an advanced android robot.