Mercedes-Benz Selects Nuance to Power Voice-Activated Features

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz C-Class leverages Nuance speech solutions to provide drivers with new levels of safety and convenience when using the car's audio, navigation, and communication systems.

The car's new in-vehicle control system, called "Command APS" by Mercedes-Benz, enables drivers to use their voice to select contacts from their phone address book, select music, or input addresses to the navigation system. DaimlerChrysler presented the in-vehicle navigation application and the voice-activated user interface as an option in the new C-Class at the Geneva Car Show 2007.

With Command APS, drivers can place calls by voice, listen to their text messages, control the audio systems, and enter the destination for their navigation system by voice. Powered by Nuance VoCon, an embedded speech recognition software, the system allows the driver to control in-car functions. In addition, Nuance's RealSpeak text-to-speech software is used to convert text into speech for readout of incoming text messages or turn-by-turn directions.

Drivers can formulate speech commands in many different ways without the need to use a small set of precise commands or to follow a multi-layer menu structure. Command APS is fluent in US and UK-English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch, so drivers can select a language on-the-fly.

Specific features of Command APS powered by Nuance speech solutions include:

  • Voice-activated destination entry: Drivers can say their destination address instead of having to type it on a touch-screen keypad. The voice interface reads out all information including street names and traffic information. The US system even allows users to enter the street name first.
  • Voice-activated, hands-free calling: Drivers can press the "Push to Talk" button on the steering wheel, and then say the name of the person to call. The system will automatically connect with the names in the mobile phone's contact list without any pre-enrollment of the names required.
  • Audible text messages: The system converts text messages received on the handset to audio and reads them out loud.
  • Voice-activated music: With command and control of the audio and video system, a radio station can be selected by voice, both speaking the number of the frequency in natural numbers or by saying the name of the radio station. In addition it is also possible to select a track on the CD by saying, "Play Track 5."
  • SpeechTek Covers
    for qualified subscribers
    Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues