Imagine Siri that’s robust enough to work well in the car. Nuance announced it now has such a product. It’s due to roll out in production vehicles this summer, and may be heading to the aftermarket.
“The head unit manufacturers are all very interested in this type of connected capability. Several of them are already seriously considering it. We’re engaged with them in discussions,” said Ed Chrumka Nuance Senior Product Manager for Connected Car Services.
Nuance’s new voice control platform is called Dragon Drive! It works around background noise in the car and uses natural language with better than 90 percent accuracy in word recognition Just as with Siri on an iPhone, it lets you send a text message such as “I’m stuck in traffic,” via dictation. Or you can ask it to post the same message to Facebook or Twitter.
You can command it to “Listen to the email from Alex,” and then have it read the text aloud in human-like speech. You can also search for any song on Internet Radio or on your connected device. And you can ask to have newspaper headlines read aloud to you.
The system has a higher sampling rate than others on the market, say Chrumka. And it’s trained to recognize a speaker who is talking into a microphone located a couple feet away, with road noise and passengers chatting in the background. Further, the more you talk to it, the more it recognizes your particular speech.
Nuance provides the speech engine for the Ford Sync, GM’s OnStar, Garmin devices and many of the other voice control systems available. Nuance works with most of the top 10 automakers and it works with Apple, but it wouldn’t confirm that it makes the engine behind Siri.
As noted, the first production car to include the new Dragon Drive! Engine will be available this summer and more than one auto maker will offer the service this year.
Dragon Drive! may be marketed on a subscription basis to the end user.