just-auto.com

Hyundai/SoundHound to develop voice-enabled virtual assistant system

By Dave Leggett | 21 December 2017

Hyundai Motor Company says it has taken a major step towards equipping future connected vehicles with 'the voice recognition technology necessary to keep pace with growing, real-time data needs of drivers'.

Hyundai's "Intelligent Personal Agent," a voice-enabled virtual assistant system, will be deployed in new models set to roll out as early as 2019.

Co-developed by Hyundai and Silicon Valley-based SoundHound, a leading innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, Intelligent Personal Agent allows drivers to use voice commands for many different operations and real-time data, which connected cars of the future demand. 

The Intelligent Personal Agent is described as unique in that it acts as a proactive assistant system, predicting the driver's needs and providing useful information. For instance, the system may give an early reminder of an upcoming meeting and suggest departure times that account for current traffic conditions.

These personal features combine with an array of driver conveniences, such as the ability to make phone calls, send text messages, search destinations, search music, check weather and manage schedules. It also allows drivers to voice-control frequently used in-vehicle functions such as air-conditioning, sunroofs and door locks, while gathering various information about the vehicle. What's more, the Intelligent Personal Agent supports a "Car-to-Home" service, enabling the driver to control electronic devices at home with simple voice commands.

"Sophisticated voice recognition and AI integration are core to effectively providing drivers with the massive content and data that future connected vehicles have to offer," said Paul Choo, director of Infotainment Development Group at Hyundai Motor Company "These elements play a key role in delivering connected-car-generated information." 

The Intelligent Personal Agent sets itself apart from the competition with its "multiple-command recognition" function. When the user says, "Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and turn off the lights in our living room," the system recognises two separate commands in the same sentence and completes each task separately.

Intelligent Personal Assistant is based on SoundHound's Houndify artificial intelligence (AI) platform, optimised for in-vehicle applications. When activated, the system reacts to the driver's voice commands or questions by communicating with SoundHound AI server to search for the requested information or complete a task.

Hyundai's long partnership with SoundHound dates back to 2012. The All-New Veloster, set for launch in January 2018, will include SoundHound's Korean music recognition service, while the English music recognition for the US market first debuted on a Genesis model in 2014.