Speech Technology Magazine

BeVocal, BellSouth to Launch 511 Information Service in Eight States

BeVocal and BellSouth have been selected to deploy a 511 voice recognition system for an eight-state region covering more than 17 million citizens.
Posted Jul 1, 2002
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BeVocal and BellSouth have been selected to deploy a 511 voice recognition system for an eight-state region covering more than 17 million citizens.

This multi-state consortium, called CARS-511, includes Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Vermont. This is the largest 511 deal to date, and will be rolled out in stages beginning with Minnesota's launch and followed by the entire multi-state 511 deployment later this year.

The Federal Communications Commission has designated 511 as the nationwide number for travel information, enabling callers to access information on road surface and weather conditions, accidents, road closures, work zones, public transportation scheduling and tourism. The goal is to have 511 become as familiar and useful to the public as 411 and 911 are today.

"We are thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking CARS-511 initiative, giving millions of people the ability to access information on traffic, road conditions and public transportation by dialing 5-1-1 from any phone," said David Hood, CEO of BeVocal. "This multi-state service will create a seamless system for travelers, enabling callers from any of the participating states to access travel information from any member state using simple voice commands."

"This is a win-win situation for the states and their residents," said Terry Doyle of the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department. "The states win because we're saving money by pooling phone lines and outsourcing call center capabilities to a trusted provider. The residents win because they get a best-in-class 511 system that enables them to access vital real-time travel information wherever they are from any telephone."

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