Thomas Schalk Joins ATX's Telematics Team

DALLAS, TX - A widely recognized pioneer in the speech recognition industry, Dr. Thomas Schalk, was named to lead the interactive speech recognition program for telematics service provider, ATX Technologies. At ATX, Schalk assumes a program that has long been delivering hands-free, interactive voice capabilities. Most recently, ATX launched real-time, location-based traffic reports for Mercedes-Benz that are delivered to the driver via interactive voice response technology. "Providing high-quality interactive voice is a cost of doing of business in today's telematics market and at ATX we believe it must be a core competency of a telematics provider, not something that is completely sourced to an outside vendor," said Hal Jensen, ATX's Chief Operating Officer. "The addition of Dr. Schalk emphasizes our commitment to delivering hands-free telematics services that are convenient for the driver to use and that minimizes cognitive driver distraction. Speech recognition also is extremely critical in delivering telematics services economically, ensuring the backward and forward compatibility of new telematics services, and rolling out our new vRM (vehicle relationship management) platform." Recognized as one of the top leaders in the speech recognition industry by Speech Technology Magazine and author of the book, Speech Recognition: The Most Complete Practical Reference Guide , Schalk developed the technology used in the first speech recognition product offered by Texas Instruments in the early 1980s. Schalk received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he studied Auditory Physiology and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. He brings to telematics over 20 years of speech recognition experience including stints as chief technical officer at Philips Speech Processing, Voice Control Systems, and, most recently, for Dallas-based Wirenix, a speech applications company partnered with Ericsson on carrier-grade network solutions. He is also past president of the Applied Voice Input/Output Society. "Among the principal reasons more consumers are purchasing our customers' vehicles are the increased vehicle safety and the sophisticated technology they perceive in these automobile brands," noted Jensen. "Dr. Schalk's expertise will help our automotive clients meet those heightened consumer expectations and help ensure technology isn't introduced at the expense of either convenience or safety."
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