X600 10 Minutes on Proactive Voice Assistants with Adam Emfield of Cerenceence

10 Minutes On Voice Assistants as Driver Co-Pilots with Adam Emfield of Cerence

Voice assistants first arrived in the 1999 Jaguar S-type, and they have proliferated widely among auto brands over the past two decades. Cerence, formerly Nuance Automotive, has been instrumental in that proliferation, becoming the most widely deployed voice assistant technology in cars worldwide. The company is poised to usher in a new era of in-car voice assistants as co-pilots that can act proactively to serve the driver.

The first Jaguar voice assistant was really just a voice-activated command and control feature. Think of it as a voice user interface. You could make simple requests, and car features would be adjusted. Voice assistants have become far more sophisticated in what they can understand and do, but they remain restricted to this request-response interaction model. No matter how much the voice assistant could do, it still required the driver to initiate the interaction.

From Assistant to Co-Pilot

Cerence’s Adam Emfield says that is about to change. Arriving in 2023 model year cars will be the first proactive assistants. The proactivity relates to the assistant anticipating a need and proactively suggesting it to the driver or noticing an important piece of information and notifying the driver. Emfield is the director of user experience in Cerence’s DRIVE Lab. He characterizes these changes as transforming the voice assistants into virtual co-pilots.

More About 10 Minutes On with Cerence

This interview is part of a new series called 10 Minutes On by Voicebot.ai. The interviews focus on a single topic, are short enough to watch between Zoom meetings, and long enough to share some interesting insights and solution details. You can find more video interviews like this on Voicebot’s YouTube channel or by clicking Videos in the website’s top navigation bar.

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