Nuance Dragon Drive Incorporated into Audi A8

Nuance Communications' Dragon Drive connected car platform will power all conversational, connected services in the new Audi A8, with additional Audi models to follow.

Dragon Drive uses cloud-based speech recognition, natural language understanding, and text-to-speech (TTS) to create a conversational automotive assistant that listens, understands and responds to drivers.

Dragon Drive will provide Audi A8 drivers with a fully customized, conversational system that is deeply integrated with the Audi vehicle, giving them voice-controlled access to all connected services, including weather, points of interest, addresses, parking, gas stations, as well as calendars and notes. The platform also provides access to embedded services like music and navigation and in-car functions, such as air conditioning. Dragon Drive can interact with drivers through automotive-grade signal enhancement and acoustics innovation combined with hybrid embedded-cloud speech recognition and natural language understanding, as well as text-to-speech.

"The Audi A8 is designed to provide a luxurious, highly automated driving experience, and that includes a truly intuitive automotive assistant that can engage in natural conversation,” said Martin Deinhard, head of development, connected services, and speech assistant at Audi, in a statement. "Nuance's Dragon Drive is the ideal platform for the delightful user experience reflecting our brand."

Dragon Drive will be available in the Audi A8 in multiple languages, including U.S. and U.K. English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and more. In addition, message dictation will be supported in Czech, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, and Turkish. Nuance worked with Audi to further improve the sound of its exclusive German TTS voice to provide a natural sounding Audi experience for drivers.

"An intelligent and trustworthy automotive assistant is crucial in a world with autonomous vehicles, and the Audi A8 proves that the future is right around the corner," said Arnd Weil, senior vice president and general manager of Nuance Automotive, in a statement. "Dragon Drive creates a seamless experience for Audi A8 drivers, giving them easy access to all of their favorite apps and services."

Dragon Drive powers more than 180 million cars on the road today across more than 40 languages, creating conversational experiences for Audi, BMW, Ford, GM and many other auto makers.

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