During an L.A. Auto Show press preview Tuesday, the automotive website Edmunds.com unveiled an advanced messaging platform to help prospective car buyers research vehicles and find dealers. The Edmunds chat bot, which is still in beta form, relies on Facebook's Messenger app and on artificial intelligence to engage in conversations with potential customers, helping direct them to an appropriate dealer.
Nick Gorton, vice president of product innovation at Edmunds, said in the presentation that this type of chat service will allow customers to communicate in the way they prefer — increasingly, on mobile messaging apps — but still get the information they want. "We're trying to meet customers where they are," Gorton said.
"A.I. will free resources at the dealer [and] the consumer then really gets to control their time," said Trace Przyblowicz, automotive lead for Facebook.