If you search long enough for the WiFi password at my favourite Mexican joint in Bandar Sunway, you’ll find a sign reminding you to ‘talk to each other’. Socialising in person is slowly becoming a thing of the past now that we’re often transfixed on social media instead. Couple this trend with the latest in the automotive industry and we could be looking at a future where people spend more time talking to their cars than they do with their loved ones.
We’ve spent much of the past month dissecting two talking cars occupying two drastically different segments. The first one up is the highly-anticipated Proton X70 (page 66), which is essentially a Geely Boyue underneath its tiger-badged skin. More than just a crowd pleaser in an SUV-obsessed market, Proton has gone to great lengths to give its newest offering an edge over the competition. This meant giving it a voice and the intelligence to not only understand natural speech, but act on it. The original writers of Knight Rider probably never saw this coming.
The GKUI (Geely Smart Ecosystem) in the X70 adopts the same voice-recognition software used in the new W177 A-Class which was launched recently. Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX system was quite the revelation when we first sampled it in Croatia back in April (page 128). It isn’t peerless now that the X70 has come about sporting similar tech, but the new A-Class is still a highly impressive product that should give Mercedes-Benz a big boost in the compact car segment in the years to come.
All we’re missing now is a motorcycle that can talk. Speaking of which, MotoGP comes to Sepang this month. To mark the occasion, Thoriq Azmi has prepped some entertaining bike content from page 134, starting with his review of the Honda CB1000R “Neo Sports Café” before capping things off with a tribute to our very own MotoGP hero, Hafizh Syahrin.
Whether you’re driving an over-engineered car or keeping things interesting on two wheels, stay safe on the road and enjoy the ride.