Talking to your car is not crazy: It’s the way forward

August 14, 2018 3:25 pm


INFINITY cars just introduced Idris, their new, Artificial Intelligence (AI) led virtual assistant, designed to help customers with any product related questions they would like answered, 24/7.

Idris is a chatbot, communicating through a text messenger service, but which nonetheless learns with experience, “constantly enhancing the level of customer support to address dire questions immediately”, according to a company statement.

Now, talking to your car’s AI is another story altogether.

The key element to making cars “smart” is an AI platform that thoughtfully integrates the car’s human-machine-interfaces (HMI) with vehicle sensors, a panoply of virtual assistants and cloud content, and adapts to the environment and users’ individual preferences and habits, according to whatsnext.nuance.com.

Smart cars must possess an automotive assistant that can seamlessly link and make sense of a variety of inputs and data, from both onboard and off-board. Its value will be judged on how elegantly it communicates with people using speech and how well it understands natural language while using data from disparate “expert” sources to deliver the right information or action at the right time.

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AI know you

Hyundai and Kia vehicles will ship starting in 2019 with a voice-powered virtual assistant with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) according to Engadget, as reported by Business Insider.

The AI voice assistant, dubbed “Intelligent Personal Agent,” will leverage the connectivity provided by connected cars combined with voice recognition software and will tap into users’ other services to provide valuable assistance as consumers drive about.

“Hyundai and Kia are working with SoundHound to develop the AI assistant. SoundHound has built its own voice assistant, called Hound, which will form part of the basis for the Intelligence Personal agent, and is already available to consumers as a smartphone app and through a smart speaker,” said BI.

“In the car, the Intelligent Personal Agent will tap into calendars, mapping platforms, and other services to both respond to and anticipate users’ needs, like an upcoming meeting, and could suggest when to depart for it based on traffic conditions.”

Nissan, BMW and MINI are working with Amazon to incorporate the Alexa voice assistant into their vehicles. Hyundai is also already working Kakao on a Korean-language voice assistant for its home market as well, according to BI.

Toyota is integrating Amazon Alexa into some of its 2018/19 models, and not just for the luxury Lexus brands, said Tech Radar.

“Beyond asking for directions or checking the news, you can control connected smart home devices remotely, such as upping the temperature gauge or unlocking a smart lock, all through voice

commands,” the site said.

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Speaking and understanding your language

While voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Google, Cortana, and Bixby have taken charge of smart households, control lighting, and the vacuum cleaner, German manufacturer Bosch now puts the voice assistant behind the wheel and freeing drivers from distractions so that they can concentrate on their essential task.

Bosch- Press reports that he assistant, who responds to the name “Casey” makes driving safer as well as more comfortable.

“Say what you want, the way you want to say it, Bosch puts a voice assistant in the car who understands the driver just like another person would,” says Bosch.

The voice recognition system understands natural sentence structures and can even handle accents and dialects, and it does so in more than 30 countries of the world.

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“The talented linguist Casey speaks a British, American, New Zealand, or Australian dialect, after more than a decade of work has been invested in the development of the voice control,” said Bosch.

Casey thinks ahead and learns.

If, for instance, the driver wants to call a person named “Paul”, the system automatically reviews the contacts and considers the driver’s present location, time, and situation before responding.

You can order Casey to look a street address or neighborhood location and it will automatically understand the destination and calculate the route, even without an external data connection. The infotainment system in the car takes over the calculation without sending any data to the cloud.

“Casey even stays with the drivers in tunnels, when far away from areas with good mobile network coverage, or in other countries when the smartphone is offline,” said Bosch.

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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