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Yes, that wasn’t a misprint, Hyundai is launching DAL-e, a customer service robot that can safely communicate with patrons during the pandemic– the acronym stands for Drive you Assist you, Link with you-experience. Equipped with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology, DAL-e can interact using a combination of facial recognition and a language-comprehension platform.

If you are currently employed at a dealership, don’t panic. While the project is aimed at providing wall-to-wall service, it’s hard to say it will completely replace the human-to-human interaction that we are all likely craving. So far, it sounds like this will be a vital stopgap in the Hyundai and Kia showroom experience under the Covid-19 situation.

Gallery: Hyundai Customer-Service Robot

“With continuous updates and improvements, the DAL-e will provide fresh, pleasant experiences to our valued customers in a contact-free environment,” said Dong Jin Hyun, Vice President and Head of the Robotics Lab at Hyundai Motor Group.

Moving on to the elephant in the room, the Korean automaker does mention that the digital personality can advise customers to wear a mask. There is no mention of what it can do if customers don’t comply, but we’ll gloss over that for everyone’s sake – leave your suggestions in the comments.

The robot itself comes in a relatively small package – measuring out to 1,160 X 600 X 600 millimeters and tipping the scales at 80 kilograms (176.3 pounds) – with ample mobility. After utilizing its four omnidirectional wheels to reach clientele DAL-e can then demonstrate vehicles and technologies by connecting wirelessly to a large display screen at the venue while using its movable arms for alternate feedback.

Hyundai noted that the robot is credited with easing the staff's workflow and offering help to customers – even those that prefer to be assisted by humans. Before making any snap judgements, we'd be remiss not to tell you that the technology is yet to be production implemented in dealerships, so let’s wait and see what happens.

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'DAL-e' is an AI-powered automated robot offering bespoke customer services at a HMG showroom with plans for adoption in diverse operating environments

DAL-e boasts language processing, facial recognition and automated mobility capabilities for seamless wall-to-wall services under Covid-19 situation

Pilot operation begins at a Hyundai Motor showroom in Seoul with a view to further optimization, updates and improvements

SEOUL, 25 January 2021 – 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 screen touch 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.  

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