Audi Chooses Cerence to Power Future Car Voice Assistants
Cerence announced this week that Audi’s upcoming voice assistant will be built on its Cerence Drive automobile voice AI technology. The Audi Connect platform will use Cerence Drive to provide a voice assistant capable of conversing with a driver and carrying out their commands.
Cerence Drive’s AI is designed to understand and converse with a driver using Cerence’s natural language understanding (NLU) engine. Audi Connect is expected to not only fulfill requests regarding information, environment control, and other tasks but to be able to navigate through multiple steps by asking the driver clarifying questions. The voice assistant mixes local and cloud-based services to carry out its duties. The hybrid approach aims to make the voice assistant quicker and more flexible in its responses, but still able to operate where there’s no internet connection.
“The purpose of our Audi Connect platform is to create deeper integration and interaction between the driver, the car, and the outside world for an intelligent travel companion that’s with you every step of the way,” Audi’s head of development connected services and speech assistant Martin Deinhard said in a statement. “The innovations within the Cerence Drive platform empower a conversational mobility assistant and infotainment experience that makes it safer and more natural than ever to interact with your Audi vehicle.”
The announcement continues Cerence’s steady drumbeat of new products and partnerships. The company debuted a new tool for customizing the voice of car voice assistants called My Car, My Voice in January, followed in February by Cognitive Arbitrator, a product that lets automakers offer multiple, simultaneously available voice assistants within a car. In March, the company launched the Cerence UX Services analytics platform and arranged with Fiat to support voice assistants in all of its vehicles. Most recently, the company debuted the Cerence ARK Assistant, a turnkey platform that car manufacturers can use to create a custom voice assistant. Cerence already supports voice assistants in approximately 30 million cars, but these additional features and deals helped the company soundly beat analyst expectations for revenue for the first quarter of the year.
“Cerence Drive makes it possible for leading automakers, like Audi, to create highly customized and branded experiences that enable deeper connections between drivers and their cars,” Cerence CEO Sanjay Dhawan said in a statement. “With Audi’s new voice personality and a keen attention to the applications, services, and content that are core to the Audi driving experience, we’ve delivered a natural, comfortable, and intelligent interface that truly differentiates the Audi system.”