LG and Cerence Reveal Plans for New Car Voice Assistant
LG and Cerence announced a partnership to build a new voice assistant for cars. The new software platform will combine Cerence’s AI Reference Kit (ARK) with LG’s webOS Auto In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI). The goal is to make a voice assistant that’s easy to install for automakers that don’t wish to build a voice assistant from scratch.
Car Voice Engine
The platform that results from the partnership is supposed to be straightforward to customize and adjust for car companies depending on the model they are designing. Once installed, drivers will be able to use the voice assistant, which will be named by the manufacturer, to adjust the car’s environment and media playback, along with navigation and other functions. Cerence, which specializes in building voice assistants for cars, will be able to fit its software into less digital space thanks to LG’s contribution. The voice assistant will be more efficient and able to support more features as a result/
“We are honored and excited to partner with LG Electronics on a solution that harnesses the collective power and promise of webOS Auto and Cerence ARK,” Cerence CEO Sanjay Dhawan said in a statement. “This new offering will support automakers and tier-one suppliers as they rapidly innovate, speed the time to market, and deliver a state-of-the-art in-car experience unlike any other.”
The Car Voice Tech Race
Cerence, which spun out of Nuance to focus on cars, started operating independently in October and has been rapidly adding new products to its lineup. The company debuted a new tool for customizing the voice of car voice assistants called My Car, My Voice a couple of weeks ago and the arrangement with LG capped a busy week at CES in Las Vegas, where the company extended beyond voice to features like gesture-based controls and automatic emergency vehicle detection. According to Cerence, close to 300 million cars on the road use its platform and it is working on agreements for even more.
There was plenty of automotive voice tech on display at CES this year beyond Cerence. Cars were a centerpiece of Amazon’s displays as the Alexa voice assistant appeared in Lamborghini and Rivian vehicles and Amazon announced that the Echo Auto device will now be sold internationally. Alexa is also adding the ability to pay for gas at 11,500 Exxon and Mobil gas stations. Meanwhile, Honda showed off the SoundHound-built Honda Personal Assistant and a new API from Speechmatics and what3words promises to improve navigation by voice. The car voice assistant frenzy makes sense with the expected growth of the space. According to a Capgemini Research Institute report, close to three-quarters of drivers will use one by 2022. Cerence and its competitors will continue to work on ways to attract as much of that consumer group as possible.