Cerence Will Embed Microsoft Teams in Car Voice Assistants
Automotive voice AI developer Cerence has inked a deal with Microsoft to incorporate Microsoft Teams into its car voice assistant platform. Cerence will embed Microsoft Azure Communication Services into the voice command list of cars relying on Cerence to power their voice assistant, including scheduling, joining, and chatting during meetings.
The partnership builds on Microsoft’s push to attract more companies to use Teams by making the platform more flexible and available. Making a voice-first version of Teams accessible in a car lets people who are commuting or out of town work while still traveling and doesn’t require pulling over or tapping on their smartphones. The new voice commands will let drivers enter and exit their meetings, schedule new ones and get notified of upcoming events, take notes, and chat directly with other participants by dictation. They can also transfer the meeting between their phone and their car, so they don’t have to leave a meeting from their phone before rejoining it in their car.
“Microsoft communication and productivity tools have become a critical piece of the hybrid workplace as companies and their employees continue to adapt to our new normal,” Microsoft Automotive, Mobility & Transportation General Manager Sanjay Ravi said. “Cerence is bringing these tools into the car to enable safer, voice-first engagement and is an integral piece of how our model for work will continue to evolve and shift to a work-from-anywhere experience.”
Despite a recent drop in stock price, Cerence has been rapidly widening its reach and scoring new deals thanks to its proactive and multimodal Cerence Co-Pilot and other upgrades. Volkswagen chose Cerence to power its voice AI earlier this year, while Mercedes began running a version of its Tour Guide feature. Productivity services like Teams will likely help Cerence maintain and build new arrangements with carmakers who increasingly see voice AI as a crucial feature in attracting customers.
“Consumers have expansive digital lives that touch a variety of services and platforms daily, and when it comes to work and productivity, Microsoft is one of the clear market leaders,” Cerence CEO Stefan Ortmanns said. “With Microsoft tools and capabilities in Cerence-powered automotive assistants, we’re uniquely extending the work sector of drivers’ digital lives into the car, enhancing their safety and productivity on the road and maximizing their efficiency no matter where they are – all through the power of voice interaction.”