Auto Tech-Startup Wants to Transform Vehicles into a Voice-Controlled Shopping Cart


Image Source: ConnectedTravel

According to AAA data released earlier this year, Americans spend nearly an hour driving each day. With voice technology that time spent in the car can become productive and entertaining. One of the companies optimizing their services for driving is auto tech-startup ConnectedTravel, which aims to transform the vehicle into a fully-functioning, voice-controlled shopping cart.

Founded in 2016, ConnectedTravel developed a cloud-based platform services that utilize Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, data fusion, behavior science and gamification technology to capture, understand, and drive consumers day-to-day mobile activities. In a time where texting and driving accidents are increasingly common, ConnectedTravel technology was designed to reduce driver distractions by enabling voice commands so drivers don’t have to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel.

Honda’s Voice-Enabled Suite of Apps

Honda Dream Drive is the first operational system to use the ConnectedTravel technology. A prototype for the voice-enabled suite of apps debuted earlier this year at CES 2019, two years after the initial concept was released at CES 2017. Honda has partnered with many retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, to name a few) to provide easy access to immediate in-car purchases. For instance, if someone wants to order their Domino’s pizza in advance they can do so through a voice-controlled shopping experience. Dream Drive provides not only drivers with information and entertainment (“infotainment”), but also their passengers as well. Passengers have the ability to watch movies, play games or edit the vehicle’s route all from their connected devices.

The Honda collaboration makes sense as ConnectedTravel’s COO, John Moon, was formerly a Managing Director at Honda Innovations. Since CES, a launch date of the Honda Dream Drive has yet to be announced. There has also been no information given about which future models will have the voice technology but the demo at CES was in Honda’s Passport model and could be an indicator that it will be one of the first Honda vehicles to launch with Dream Drive.

Half of Car Owners Have Used a Voice Assistant While Driving

In the In-Car Voice Assistant Report published earlier this year, Voicebot found that nearly twice as many U.S. adults have used voice assistants in the car (114 million) as through a smart speaker (57.8 million). The car also claims far more monthly active voice users at 77 million compared to 45.7 million. The monthly active voice assistant usage rate is actually higher for car owners than for smartphone users. Despite the numbers, the car is often overlooked when it comes to voice.


Consumers say that they are equally likely to have used voice through a smartphone connected to the car via Bluetooth and the voice assistant native to the car. In our research, both were used by about one-third of car owners that have used a voice assistant. To expand their share of the automotive market, companies like Amazon and Google will need to come as the built in voice assistant option. A year ago, Amazon released an Alexa Auto Software Development Kit designed to, “help simplify the integration of Alexa into in-vehicle infotainment systems.” Their major competition is Google Assistant availability through Android Auto, which launched in early 2018. Android Auto hit the market in 2014 and over the last few weeks rolled out its largest design update.

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