Skip to main content

Hyundai, Kia Using Robots To Change the Dealership Experience

Maybe a robot named DAL-e will make going to your local Kia and Hyundai dealership more pleasant.


Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of Kia and Hyundai, has introduced a new robot designed to enhance the dealership experience. It’s an interesting experiment.

The DAL-e is an acronym for “Drive you, Assist you, Link with you-experience.” I’m curious if it means something similar in Korean or the acronym is less awkward.

Designed to pioneer the future of automated customer services, the DAL-e is equipped with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology for facial recognition as well as an automatic communication system based on a language-comprehension platform.

Hyundai Kia DAL-e robot bows

“The DAL-e is a next-generation service platform that can offer automated customer services anytime. It is expected to become a messenger capable of delivering consistent messages to customers in a more intimate and personal way than conventional robots,” said Dong Jin Hyun, vice president and head of the robotics lab at Hyundai Motor Group.

“With continuous updates and improvements, the DAL-e will provide fresh, pleasant experiences to our valued customers in a contact-free environment. Our objective is to enable the DAL-e to engage in a smooth and entertaining communication with customers and present valuable services to them,” he continued.

The DAL-e debuted in Seoul where, to be frank, things are slightly different. For example, the announcement says, “In the event that a customer enters the showroom without wearing a mask, the android recognizes it and advises the customer to wear one.” It’s tough to envision that going over well at a Kia dealership in say Tupelo, Mississippi.

Hyundai Kia DAL-e robot poses like RockyHyundai says in terms of its communication capability, DAL-e can engage in an “automated and smooth dialogue” with customers by providing useful information on products and services and responding to verbal and screen touch commands. No word yet if DAL-e is going to replace salespeople and if there will be DAL-e sales managers that have to approve deals.

On a serious note, this is part of Hyundai’s global move into robotics. Hyundai will acquire a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion.

Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.