Nuance Adds Voice Biometrics to Dragon Drive, Debuts Virtual Assistant Service for Cars

Nuance Communications has added voice biometrics to its Dragon Drive connected car platform and also introduced Dragon Drive Daily Update, a virtual assistant service providing personalized content to the driver.

The company is also expanding the Dragon Drive platform with the Dragon Drive Mobile application that lets users stay connected to content and apps inside and outside the car.

With this offering, automakers can integrate voice biometrics as part of their connected infotainment systems. With a spoken passphrase, the underlying Dragon Drive platform provides content and information, including connected music stations, navigation routes, traffic conditions, calendars, and more, based on that driver's preferences.

Further personalizing the connected car experience, Nuance also unveiled Dragon Drive Daily Update, a virtual assistant service that provides drivers with their own unique updates upon entering the vehicle. Drivers can customize the Daily Update feature to deliver up-to-the-minute news headlines, traffic, weather, sports scores, calendar updates, and much more. As soon as the driver starts the car, the Daily Update feature automatically delivers relevant information and content through a humanlike voice created with Nuance's text-to-speech.

"The next frontier for connected cars will be contextualizing and personalizing content," said Jeffrey Hannah, director at automotive research company SBD, in a statement. "To enable this, car makers are rushing to find innovative new ways of detecting who is actually driving their cars and proactively delivering the information they need, when they need it. Nuance's voice biometrics and Daily Update feature will play an important role in enabling a much more relevant infotainment experience."

Nuance is also expanding its Dragon Drive platform with the Dragon Drive Mobile application, which bridges the gap between the connected experiences in the car and on the smartphone. Dragon Drive Mobile, supporting iOS and Android, lets automakers build a mobile app that integrates directly with their customized and branded in-car infotainment systems.

The app delivers the same app experience on the phone and in the car for navigation, music, calendar, dictation and more. In addition, drivers can set their music preferences, navigation, and other information using the app on their phones, and upon entering the vehicle, the same music and navigation information is accessible via voice. Once connected, the application locks the driver's smartphone and transfers all interactions to the in-car head unit screen.

"With the ongoing challenges surrounding Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, many automakers are looking for new ways to offer seamless smartphone integration and utilize the smartphone for data processing in the car while retaining control of the overall user experience," Hannah said. "This has opened the door for Nuance to offer a turnkey solution for bringing the driver's content safely into the car."

"We're giving automakers more control over the connected car system they build and deliver, while giving consumers more control over their individual experience within that brand," said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager of Nuance automotive, in a statement. "Our platform is open, flexible, and delivers content from the world's leading content providers."

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