PETALING JAYA: Will voice commands be a part of Proton cars in the near future?
A YouTube video making the rounds shows Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad seated in the driver's seat of a Proton vehicle, while a young woman seated to his right uses voice commands to activate several functions.
Using only her voice, the woman opens and closes the driver side windows and its sunroof, which appears to impress Dr Mahathir.
The video was uploaded on YouTube by user Luffiq on Sunday (Aug 19) with the title "The 1st SUV Proton with voice control, tested by Tun Mahathir".
Sin Chew Daily reported that the woman in the video is Malaysian student Tan Shu Rin, who is in her second year at Shanghai's Fudan University.
The 21-year old Johorian, who is majoring in broadcasting, is an intern with Nuance Communications, an American-based technology development company.
The Chinese daily reported that Tan had practiced activating the voice commands numerous times prior to Dr Mahathir's arrival.
He was in China for a five-day official trip between Aug 17 and Aug 21.
Malaysiakini reported that Dr Mahathir – who was previously critical of Chinese car manufacturer Geely's acquisition of a major stake in Proton – hoped that the strategic partnership would accelerate the process of improving the national car brand.
He said that when the first Proton car was produced, Geely had not been established yet.
"We sent six Proton cars here (to China), and we were very proud of our achievement.
"But … Geely has outstripped us in terms of quality and productivity … And I think Proton can benefit from working together with Geely," said Dr Mahathir.