GREENVILLE, S.C. (July 26, 2011) — Michelin North America Inc. has launched a chatbot feature on its corporate website that allows visitors to “chat” with the tire maker's mascot, Bibendum.
The animated character appears on the home page of the site, and provides “a human-like interface between users and the Michelin brand,” the Greenville-based tire maker said. It is capable of chatting in both English and French, the company's two official languages, and is programmed to discuss about 10,000 different topics each month.
Michelin said the Bibendum chatbot serves as a visual agent to guide visitors around the website and answer questions about the company and Bib—including even his pastimes and favorite food.
The new website feature was developed in cooperation with VirtuOz, a French-U.S. firm that specializes in creating intelligent virtual assistants, and video interface design company Cantoche. The Bibendum chatbot offers “a higher level of performance than the market standard in terms of the quantity of information provided, the quality of the interface and the expressive range of the animations,” Michelin said.