Cerence has filed a patent for a vehicle control system that allows drivers or autonomous vehicles to control certain operational aspects through voice-based dialog. The system uses environmental and sensor input to select optimal routes and operational modes. Occupants can change destinations, routes, or driving modes by engaging with the voice control system. GlobalData’s report on Cerence gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Cerence, smart voice assistant was a key innovation area identified from patents. Cerence's grant share as of September 2023 was 76%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Voice control system for facilitating dialog with autonomous vehicles

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Cerence Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230227053A1) describes a method and apparatus for transitioning a vehicle from one mode of operation to another using a voice-control system. The method involves several steps, including determining when the second mode becomes available, generating an announcement to indicate the availability of the second mode, receiving an utterance indicating a desire to transition, and instructing the vehicle to operate in the second mode.

In one embodiment of the method, the voice control system identifies information in the utterance that indicates an event or a specific time for the transition to occur. The vehicle is instructed to operate in the second mode only when the event has occurred or at the specified time. Additionally, the voice control system can parse the utterance to determine a trigger event for the mode switch, ensuring that the transition only occurs when the triggering event happens.

The first mode of operation mentioned in the patent is a manual mode, while the second mode is an autonomous mode. The determination of the availability of the second mode can also involve identifying different routes along which the second mode is available. The voice control system can announce these routes and receive instructions to traverse a specific route in the second mode.

The patent also mentions the use of biometric information to determine the source of the utterance and information from a camera to determine how the announcement is made. Context information can be used to choose the manner of making the announcement, such as setting the volume based on the context.

The apparatus described in the patent includes a vehicle with a vehicle control system and a voice-control system. The voice-control system interacts with the vehicle control system to execute the steps involved in transitioning between modes of operation.

Overall, this patent presents a method and apparatus for using a voice-control system to facilitate the transition of a vehicle from one mode of operation to another. The system incorporates various steps and considerations, such as event detection, route selection, and context-based announcements, to ensure a smooth and controlled transition between modes.

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