Hyundai Teams With SoundHound on Voice Recognition Technology for Connected Cars

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【Summary】Hyundai Motor Company is turning to Silicon Valley to help equip the connected cars of the future with voice recognition technology. Hyundai has teamed up with Silicon valley based SoundHound Inc. on a ‘Intelligent Personal Agent’ voice enabled personal assistance system which is set to start rolling out as early as 2019.

Original   Eric Walz  ·  Dec 26, 2017 8:15 AM PT
author: Eric Walz   

SEOUL — Hyundai Motor Company is turning to Silicon Valley to help equip the connected cars of the future with voice recognition technology. To address the data needs of daily drivers in the future, Hyundai has teamed up with Silicon valley based SoundHound Inc. on a ‘Intelligent Personal Agent' voice enabled personal assistance system which is set to start rolling out as early as 2019.

Co-developed by Hyundai and Santa Clara, California based SoundHound Inc., 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 unique, as it acts as a proactive assistant system, predicting the driver's needs and providing useful information ahead of time. For example, the system may give an early reminder of an upcoming appointment and suggest departure times based on current traffic conditions.

These personal features will combine with driver conveniences, such as the ability to make phone calls, send text messages, search maps, search music, check weather and manage daily schedules. The system 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. Additionally, the Intelligent Personal Agent supports a "Car-to-Home" service, enabling the driver to control home electronic devices 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 recognizes two separate commands in the same sentence and completes each task separately.

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Intelligent Personal Assistant is based on SoundHound's Houndify artificial intelligence (AI) platform, optimized 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.

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

Hyundai Motor will unveil Intelligent Personal Agent during CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada next month. Intelligent Personal Agent will be demonstrated through a connected car cockpit equipped with the feature. The system is activated in a vehicle by the wake-up voice command of "Hi, Hyundai."

Early next year, Hyundai plans to demonstrate a simplified version of the Intelligent Personal Agent, equipping next-generation Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) 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 system will initially understand English but will expand support to other major languages in the future.

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

In January of 2017, SoundHound announced $75 million in new funding from a strategic group of investors including NVIDIA GPU Ventures, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Nomura Holdings, Inc., Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance and others.

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