Hyundai developing ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ for future connected vehicles

The South Korean automaker has teamed up with Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc to develop its “Intelligent Personal Agent,” a voice-enabled virtual assistant system.

Decades ago, people marvelled at science-fiction films and TV shows where humans and machines spoke to each other. But early voice-recognition systems in vehicles were so bad that most owners never used them.

Now we have the likes of Ford’s Sync, which is infinitely more useable and effective than early systems, and Hyundai is also working with SoundHound to take voice control of vehicles to another level.

The carmaker aims to equip its future connected vehicles with voice recognition technology that will keep pace with the growing needs of tomorrow’s drivers, allowing them to obtain real-time data, which will be a key attribute for connected cars of the future.

Much of what drivers do through buttons, dials, switches and touch screens will be done through the Intelligent Personal Agent. For example, it will remind you about an upcoming meeting and suggest an adjusted departure time to take into account of current road and traffic conditions. And of course, it can also make phone calls, send text messages, play music, get weather reports and locate places to eat.

Much of what drivers do through buttons, dials, switches and touchscreens will be done through the Intelligent Personal Agent. Photo Courtesy: Hyundai

Paul Choo, Director of Infotainment Development Group at Hyundai, said, “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. These elements play a key role in delivering connected-car-generated information.”

Hyundai will unveil its Intelligent Personal Agent in January during CES 2018 in Las Vegas, where it will be demonstrated through a connected car cockpit.

It expects to start rolling the feature out in vehicles as soon as early 2019.