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Three Ways the Auto Industry Can Leverage Generative AI

Photo by toine G / Unsplash

For most consumers, buying a vehicle is one of the largest purchasing decisions they will make, second only to homeownership.

This kind of expensive, long-lasting decision is often emotional, and, at least in the consumer's mind, not easy to undo. With vehicle technology advancing faster than ever, consumers worry even more about their purchasing decision. Automakers are on the lookout for ways to build brand loyalty and make vehicle ownership easier.

In this quest to bond with consumers and drive repeat ownership, automakers have a unique opportunity to leverage AI to bridge the gap from purchase to purchase. What Pulse IQ participants ask AI reveal ways automakers can help support consumers through:

  • Buying a new vehicle
  • Questions during ownership
  • End-of-ownership

Buying a vehicle is an emotional and expensive decision, and not easy to undo. It’s also a complex decision because new vehicles contain a lot of emerging technology and are purchased infrequently. That makes consumers worry. To bridge the gap from purchase to purchase, automakers want to create a bond with customers from purchase to ownership experience to next purchase. That makes automakers worry.

Here are the leading questions by category

Buying a vehicle

  • When will car prices in the US drop?
  • Which is the best car to buy/lease for me and my family?
  • Could you give me more information on the Ford Explorer, what’s the mileage?
  • Which Tesla model is the best?
  • How do I reduce gas consumption in my car?
  • List best vehicles based on fuel efficiency.
  • What cars should I buy as a college student?

During Ownership

  • Fuel and battery efficiency
  • How many times would I need to stop to refuel my car while taking a particular route?
  • Plan a trip with best battery efficient routes
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • How do I fix the AC in my 2006 Dodge caravan?
  • What checks to perform on my car before I take a long trip?
  • Is it better to buy parts from an auto-parts store or dealership itself?

End-of-Ownership Period

  • The best online platform to sell used car
  • How can I find out the value of my car?

The fact that there were more queries on buying than on ownership and trading in is not unique to AI. New vehicle buyers often spend more time considering the purchase than they do the longer view of ownership and resale. Here are what users have to say about AI responses to their automotive questions:


This is very comprehensive. I like how it breaks it down to bullet points, makes it more organized. It's very specific, I like that a lot


I love the answer it's giving me. More of a guide, than just communicating, it's telling me what to do.



Many users are looking for advice around which vehicle make and model to buy, and ways to compare different vehicles on fuel efficiency, price, or consumer recommendations. AI is particularly well suited to providing users ways to quickly query the stats on different vehicles and compare them.

  • Users also appreciated when AI was able to communicate complex information via simple bullets, as seen with the GPT-4 feedback. That approach may make people more comfortable with making a purchase, particularly to the extent an automaker or third-party automotive website could embed AI on their sites.

The Automaker/Buyer Relationship

The conversational nature of generative AI makes it uniquely positioned to give a brand a voice and a human touch with minimal human activity.

  • As we saw in feedback on Claude, the user appreciated the depth of dialogue. If AI was successfully embedded into automakers’ vehicles, deeper conversations could be used to foster a trusted relationship with the customer – one that leads to service revenue and repeat purchase behavior.


In the same way that not every tire fits every vehicle, automakers, auto websites and consumers need to be very aware of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the leading AI engines when it comes to automotive questions. Results for AI were not uniformly positive by category or age group. For example, user-reported satisfaction was the worst for navigation queries. So we encourage pit stops for due diligence and research before incorporating AI into your automotive-related business.

See AI in action below. There are more data under the hood. Ask to see additional details!

Seeking diagnostics on car trouble

Does not customize response to the Nissan Versa. Good estimate on repair and labor price.

GPT-4 • Male • Gen X

Looking for resale values

Likes that it generates search-like results. More robotic than other AIs.

Bing • Female • Millennial

Planning refueling stops on a road trip

Provides images along with details. Lists stops along with the nature of stops.

Bard • Male • Millennial

Advice on buying a car

Guides the user on how they can go about purchasing a car. Lays out the data in order of thought process and approach.

Claude • Male • Millennial