Hyundai to unveil voice-enabled in-vehicle assistant at CES

Hyundai will unveil a voice-enabled intelligent personal agent at CES

Hyundai Motor is to unveil a voice-enabled intelligent personal agent for vehicles during January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The 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, an innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, the agent allows drivers to use voice commands for many different operations and real-time data.

The agent 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, it 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 at Hyundai Motor. "These elements play a key role in delivering connected-car-generated information."

The agent has a 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.

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

"We spent a decade developing Houndify, the most advanced voice AI platform, to enable partners the ability to create customised experiences for their products," said Keyvan Mohajer, founder and CEO of SoundHound. "We are thrilled to work with Hyundai Motor to revolutionise the in-car experience."

Hyundai Motor will unveil intelligent personal agent during CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January. It will be demonstrated through a connected car cockpit equipped with the feature. The system is activated by the wake-up voice command: "Hi, Hyundai."

Early next year, Hyundai plans to demonstrate a simplified version of the agent, equipping next-generation fuel cell electric vehicles scheduled for test drives on Korean public roads with the system. This test version will also be able to provide information on local sports events, including game schedules and results.

The assistant will initially understand English but will expand support to other major languages going forward.

Hyundai's partnership with SoundHound dates back to 2012. The 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.


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