Hyundai Works with SoundHound on Voice-Enabled Intelligent Personal Agent

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company is set to roll out its "Intelligent Personal Agent," a voice-enabled virtual assistant system, in new models as early as 2019.

The Intelligent Personal Agent acts as a proactive assistant system, predicting driver needs and providing useful information. For instance, the system can give an early reminder of an upcoming meeting and suggest departure times that account for current traffic conditions. Users can also make phone calls, send text messages, search destinations, search music, check weather, manage schedules, and voice-control frequently used in-vehicle functions, such as air-conditioning, sunroof, and door locks, while gathering various information about the vehicle. It also supports a "Car-to-Home" service, enabling the driver to control electronic devices at home with simple voice commands.

"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," said Paul Choo, director of the Infotainment Development Group at Hyundai Motor Company, in a statement. "These elements play a key role in delivering connected-car-generated information."

The Intelligent Personal Agent also features a "multiple-command recognition" function. When the user says, "Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and turn off the lights in our living room," the system recognizes two separate commands in the same sentence and completes each task separately.

Intelligent Personal Assistant is based on SoundHound's Houndify artificial intelligence (AI) platform, optimized for in-vehicle applications. When activated, the system reacts to the driver's voice commands or questions by communicating with SoundHound AI server to search for the requested information or complete a task.

"We spent a decade developing Houndify, the most advanced voice AI platform, to enable partners the ability to create customized experiences for their products," said Keyvan Mohajer, founder and CEO of SoundHound, in a statement. "We are thrilled to work with Hyundai Motor to revolutionize the in-car experience."

The assistant system will initially understand English but will expand support to other major languages going forward.

Hyundai's partnership with SoundHound dates back to 2012. The 2018 Velositer model will include SoundHound's Korean music recognition service, while the English music recognition for the U.S. market first debuted on a Genesis model in 2014.

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