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Cerence Inc Partners with HERE Technologies to Bring AI-Powered Voice Access to Maps & Navigation

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【Summary】A new partnership between Massachusetts-based Cerence Inc and high-definition mapping company HERE Technologies will give drivers a more seamless connection to their vehicles using speech recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Eric Walz    Feb 24, 2020 4:30 PM PT
Cerence Inc Partners with HERE Technologies to Bring AI-Powered Voice Access to Maps & Navigation
HERE Technologies builds robust, data-rich maps. (Photo: HERE Technologies)

Advances in speech recognition and artificial intelligence have made voice controlled assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple's Siri and Google Assistant a popular way for people to request information instantly just by using their voice. These popular types of voice activated technologies are also extending into the automotive space, making it easier for driver's to keep their eyes on the road and interact with their vehicles.

A new partnership between Massachusetts-based Cerence Inc and high-definition mapping company HERE Technologies will give drivers a more seamless connection to their vehicles using speech recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

HERE Technologies is majority-owned by a consortium of German automakers, including BMW, Audi and Dailmer.

Cerence is a developer of digital technologies for in-vehicle infotainment systems, so drivers can "talk" to their vehicles. Cerence's automotive technology uses AI and machine learning to tailor in-car experiences, including learning a driver's personal preferences and habits. 

As part of the partnership, the high-definition maps built by HERE will include technology developed by Cerence, bringing advanced AI-powered mobility assistant offerings to the automotive industry. HERE and Cerence will bring voice-powered access to HERE maps, APIs and point-of-interest (POI) data to the marketplace of global automakers. 

"As the popularity of mobility assistants continues to grow, accurate location information is integral to enable a driver to fully leverage the assistant and its capabilities," said Jørgen Behrens, Chief Product Officer at HERE. 

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HERE's location APIs will support voice controlled technology developed by Cerence, so drivers can use natural language to find the nearest EV charging station, restaurant or other points of interest (POIs).

The Location-based data from HERE will also provide more relevant suggestions to drivers. For example, if the system learns a driver frequents a particular gas station or retail store, it will automatically make suggestions based on those preferences. 

It also brings HERE 3D maps to Cerence's multi-modal in-car experience, enabling drivers to interact with POIs outside the car using eye tracking and voice recognition. 

Cerence is already working with top automakers to develop the connected car technologies of the future. The company's technology is already installed in over 300 million vehicles from General Motors, Toyota, BMW, Audi, Ford Motor Co and many others.

The "Cerence Drive" portfolio includes technology that allows automaker to build high-quality, intelligent voice assist and speech-enabled applications to vehicles. These include voice-controlled virtual assistants, AI, machine learning, contextual reasoning and voice biometrics for authentication, for an extra layer of security.

"Our work with HERE furthers our commitment to optimize the end-to-end performance of the mobility assistant experience for our customers," said Stefan Ortmanns, EVP & General Manager, Core Automotive, Cerence. "HERE is a trusted partner and the leader in their space, and their extensive map and POI data is critical to bringing drivers a powerful experience they can count on in their day-to-day lives."  

In the future, connected vehicles might have an AI-powered built-in assistant that can help with everything from finding the best route to automatically adjusting the climate control to a driver's personal preferences. 

The partnership between HERE Technologies and Cerence is a big step forward in making it happen.

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