AT&T, Panasonic Automotive to Develop Voice-Enabled Assistant

AT&T is teaming up with Panasonic Automotive Systems of America and QNX Software Systems Ltd. to begin developing a connected, voice-enabled virtual assistant for automakers.

The technology will be backed by AT&T's WATSON speech engine, providing a cloud based voice-enabled natural language mobile virtual assistant solution for wirelessly connected vehicles.

AT&T WATSON is a multimodal and multilingual speech and language engine with best-in-class performance across a wide range of applications. The engine's flexible plug-in architecture enables quick-time-to-market innovations. AT&T has more than 500 speech-related patents that can process speech, text, and gesture inputs for things such as placing and receiving calls, navigation, and basic Web browsing.

"User experiences that are natural and intuitive, that simplify access to mobile and cloud-based services, and that help drivers stay focused are key to consumer adoption of tomorrow's connected vehicles," said Derek Kuhn, vice president of sales and marketing, QNX Software Systems, in a statement. "Cloud-based speech recognition provided by solutions like AT&T WATSON will help accelerate this adoption, by allowing users to interact with their vehicle in a natural way, using everyday language."

Initial concept testing for in-car infotainment systems and emerging mobile devices interface is taking place now in the Peachtree City testing community. AT&T is providing network services and Panasonic Automotive Systems Company is responsible for the hardware and integration services.

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