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Nuance Brings Natural Language Speech Recognition to Audi A8’s In-Car MultiMedia Interface System
Thursday, 18 March 2010 00:00

Nuance Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN), today announced that its One-Shot Destination Entry and multilingual media command and control speech technology are now featured as part of the 2010 Audi A8 models. Nuance’s innovative speech technology has been integrated into the Audi MultiMedia Interface (MMI) Touch in-car infotainment system for navigation, media and phone as a way to provide an easy-to-use interface that minimizes visual and manual distractions behind the wheel.

Audi’s MMI systems have long featured speech capabilities that support voice dialing and destination entry, but only via a conventional multi-step approach. The new 2010 models take full advantage of Nuance’s advancements in Natural Language Understanding that allows for a more conversational dialogue between drivers and their Audi navigation and entertainment system in the A8. Nuance developed and integrated the speech capabilities with Harman Becker Automotive, a leading automotive supplier and Nuance partner.

Speech-enabled features in the 2010 Audi A8 models include:

One-Shot Destination Entry: With Nuance One-Shot Destination Entry, drivers can enter an entire destination address in one, simple spoken command. For example, just say “London, Downing Street, 10” and the navigation system in the MMI Touch will begin the route. Systems deployed in the U.S. will allow drivers to say “street in vicinity,” eliminating the need to even input city and state.

Drivers will also have access to their address book. Simply say “Navigate to John Smith, home address,” and the system will begin the route.

Music Search: Nuance Music Search enables a safer and more enjoyable interaction with the Audi A8’s infotainment system by giving drivers the ability to access their favorite, stored songs by speaking the audio source, genre, artist, album or song with one simple, spoken command. For instance, just say ‘Play artist Lady Gaga’ or ‘Play title Bad Romance’. Nuance Music Search features multilingual speech recognition to respond to several languages in parallel. Drivers are also able to set radio stations by name or frequency, and play the CD, DVD and MP3 players with simple voice commands.

Address book and phone: Nuance’s speech capabilities also enable voice-dialing. Drivers can store upwards of 2000 contact entries and assign up to 50 individual name tags to make selecting the most commonly accessed contacts even easier by voice, like “Mom,” or “Work” — it’s completely customizable.

“Audi’s MMI is an example of just how amazingly sophisticated in-car infotainment systems have become, while providing drivers with incredibly easy access to navigation, music and more via simple voice commands,” said Arnd Weil, general manager, Nuance Automotive. “Drivers worldwide are demanding more from their in-car experience. They want increased functionality that doesn’t come at the cost of safety. It may sound like a tall order, but by working with Audi and our other partners, we’re able to integrate conversational speech capabilities that allow drivers to take full advantage of today’s innovative systems while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

Recent surveys commissioned by Nuance have shown that controlling in-car systems by voice is one of the most important features to reduce driver distraction and increase overall ease of use of the entertainment and navigation systems. Nuance’s Voice User Interface study found that consumers desire shorter dialogues with fewer confirmations, and Nuance’s Distracted Driver study confirmed that voice command and control has a measurable positive impact on reaction time while reducing visual and manual distractions. The study also found that manual control of media players is highly distracting, with the average driver 50 percent more distracted during lane changes versus being able to simply say the artist and song title via a speech-based interface.

 

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