ScanSoft selected by CARS-511 Consortium
PEABODY, MA - ScanSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT) announced that the multi-state consortium known as CARS-511 is migrating a portion of its hosted, speech-enabled national traveler information service to a premise-based solution using OpenSpeech Recognizer speech recognition software and Speechify® text-to-speech (TTS) software from the SpeechWorks® Suite of Network Speech Solutions. CARS-511 Consortium includes Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Vermont. Developed by Castle Rock Consultants, an intelligent transportation systems consulting firm, the Condition Acquisition and Reporting System (CARS) for 511 Traveler Information Services is a road reporting system that utilizes information from a multi-state database of highway events and provides timely information to travelers, who can access this information on any telephone by simply dialing "5-1-1" on the touchpad. Authorized personnel enter information into the system through a Web-based interface. The CARS-511 system provides traveler information in a variety of categories including urgent reports, routine reports and road weather, and it also provides call transfers to outside phone numbers that provide transit-related information. "By delivering information directly to travelers via the telephone, CARS-511 helps them avoid congested routes and safety hazards, thus improving safety and relieving overall road congestion," said Dean Deeter, president of Castle Rock Consultants. "By adding a premise-based application environment to our existing hosted system, we are able to further expand the public service to callers while continuing to aim for cost efficiencies." Travelers calling CARS-511 in participating states use voice commands for hands-free access to current road conditions and other reports. For example, a caller could request "road conditions," and the speech system would prompt the caller to state the name of the road or highway such as "Interstate 95" or "St. James Street." The speech system would then access real-time information from the CARS system and present it to the caller in a natural-sounding human voice using Speechify TTS software. "511 information services are fast becoming the preferred channel for delivering public service information to travelers and commuters," said Steve Chambers, SVP & general manager of Network Speech Solutions at ScanSoft. "We've specifically tuned our OpenSpeech Recognizer engine to perform extremely well in wireless and other noisy environments such as in the car. We're exciting to be working with CARS-511 Consortium to deliver a cost-effective speech solution that provides access to real-time traffic conditions in a hands-free environment."