High honours for new ŠKODA “team member” Laura: ŠKODA AUTO representatives have accepted the “SMARTBEST 2019” award for the new digital assistant in Mainz, Germany. Automotive journalists from 31 European countries chose ŠKODA’s advanced voice control system for the top spot, out of a shortlist of ten candidates. The jury considers Laura the innovation of the year in the field of in-car interaction between the driver and an artificial intelligence.

ŠKODA’s new Digital Assistant Laura is perfectly in tune with the European AUTOBEST organisation’s commitment to promoting the development of new and easy-to-use in-car technologies. This advanced voice control system also understands natural speech, thus allowing particularly fast and convenient access to many different vehicle functions. Drivers are free from the constraint of having to use predetermined commands and phrases and can activate the system simply by saying “Okay, Laura!” without having to press an additional button or touch control pad. One aspect the jury was particularly impressed with is the fact that Laura was developed in-house by ŠKODA engineers, without relying on software from technology companies. Laura is already available with the ŠKODA SCALA, KAMIQ and SUPERB iV model series and will soon also feature in the new ŠKODA OCTAVIA.

Latest Awards

The all-new ŠKODA OCTAVIA is in the running for its next international honours. The fourth generation of the ŠKODA best-seller has been short-listed for this year’s edition of the prestigious “Car of the Year” award. From an initial field of 29 new cars launched on the international markets during the past twelve months, the ŠKODA OCTAVIA made it into the final. This is where the seven remaining models are presented to an international expert jury, with 60 motoring journalists from 23 European countries casting their votes. The annual award was first established in 1964. The “2021 Car of the Year” will be announced on 1 March. In the last quarter of 2020, the OCTAVIA already succeeded in collecting renowned awards in the key export markets of the UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

ŠKODA AUTO has been presented with the Pioneer Award for its use of artificial intelligence in vehicle diagnostics. At this year’s CONNECTED CAR Awards, the trade magazines Auto Bild and Computer Bild chose ŠKODA’s Sound Analyser app as the winner of the editorial prize reserved for particularly innovative ideas. Using a smartphone or tablet, the noises a car makes while in operation can be recorded and compared with stored sound patterns. On this basis, the software can quickly and reliably detect if the vehicle in question requires any maintenance.

ŠKODA AUTO has brought home another success from the HR Officers Awards held by the Employers Club. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the results this year were announced as part of an online presentation on LinkedIn, a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development. ŠKODA AUTO’s HR department came first place overall for its ANTICOVID-19 project, also winning a special prize for its activities aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Following a series of prestigious awards, such as the Employer of the Year and the Randstad Award, this is another success for the brand in the area of HR management.