Porsche wants to make online shopping easier and has turned to AI to make it so. Its latest trick is a car configurator that predicts customers’ choices, working a bit like auto-correct.
The “Recommendation Engine” uses artificial intelligence to make educated guesses about options combinations within fractions of a second. The trick is particularly useful for Porsche, whose models come in a vast number of possible combinations.
In order to train it, Porsche set loose 270 machine learning models in different markets’ configurators. These neural networks looked for patterns in the data in order to be able to infer and predict what a shopper might want.
“By using artificial intelligence in the Porsche Car Configurator, we’re making the configuration process easier for our customers,” says Axel Berger, Project Manager in the Advanced Analytics and Smart Data department at Porsche. “We’re using this technology to create a truly personalized online experience where we display relevant equipment options. No two users will receive the same recommendations.”
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Despite no two users getting the same recommendation,Porsche says that the AI is 90 percent accurate with customers. And since it’s constantly learning, the company predicts that it will only get more accurate.
The service is currently only available to customers in six markets (Germany, China, US, UK, Switzerland, and Taiwan), but others are set to follow. In order to use the service, you have to click on a little lightbulb at the bottom of the page. Once you’ve done a bit of configurating and you click it, a window emerges offering you a couple of options that you might like. It was pretty unintrusive and reasonably helpful when I noodled around with it.