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Image: Nuance Communications

Nuance Communications is to provide AI-powered speech recognition technology to China’s Geely, for its joint venture with Malaysian manufacturer Proton. Geely and Proton are developing vehicles together for Southeast Asia and beyond, and Geely is to provide a set of vehicle platform technologies incorporating the Nuance AI.

The Geely speech solution, based on the Nuance Dragon Drive connected car platform, features automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and text, and has been optimized for Southeast Asia – particularly for Malaysian-accented English. The user interface will allow controls for functions such as air conditioning, windows and sunroof, audio, navigation and searches for points of interest, music and weather information. Other contributing AI partners to the ECARX-developed Geely ecosystem include Smart Eye, bringing its driver monitoring technology.

Yang Yun, VP of Proton, said in a statement: “Part of the goal of our joint venture is to bring more advanced and innovative cars and enhanced mobility to the Southeast Asia region, and technology innovation in the car is a big part of that. It’s clear that AI-powered speech recognition will have a significant role to play, of course in today’s vehicles, but also in the car of the future. Our work with Nuance is extremely important as we work toward that future.”

Nuance is also working with Korean telematics provider KT Corporation on a Dragon Drive-based automotive assistant. This will incorporate KT’s AI and content services to offer in-car voice command features such as streaming music and the GiGA Genie AI services – and voice biometrics and embedded speech recognition will mean that no wake-up word or button-pushing is required.

Stefan Ortmanns, executive VP and general manager, Nuance Automotive, explained: “As the car becomes increasingly connected and digital, drivers are expecting and demanding an in-car assistant that’s sophisticated and intelligently built for in-car use cases. Together, Nuance and KT can create this experience for drivers in Korea, enabling a simple, voice-powered interface that delivers access to the content and services they know and love.”

-Farah Alkhalisi