Cerence, a pillar of vehicle-centric voice AI, will power the voice search engine in future Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota Motor North America is the first to choose Cerence Browse as its real-time AI search engine for vehicles, where it will be integrated into the multimedia system installed in the cars.
Cerence Browse connects to databases and public news sources to answer questions from drivers about general knowledge or current events. The idea of Browse is to open up potential questions to more than just driving or sightseeing related topics to any type of question. Presumably, this will also keep drivers on the built-in system rather than switching to Alexa or Google Assistant for random query responses. To ensure accurate answers, Cerence Browse uses Cerence’s machine-reading comprehension AI to scour updated databases and extract meaning from high-profile questions or even just commands for information such as “Speak- me from New York”.
“Toyota and Lexus customers are passionate about innovative and intelligent in-vehicle experiences that make their everyday lives easier and more productive,” said Charan Lota, vice president and executive chief engineer of connected technologies, Toyota Motor North America. . “We are proud to be the first automaker to deploy Cerence Browse and enable our customers to access the information they are used to on the go from other intelligent or mobile voice assistants. Buyers of all-new Lexus models 2022 NX and 2022 Toyota Tundra will be the first to experience this exceptional feature.”
The implementation of Cerence Browse is not the first time that Toyota has acted as a pioneer in testing Cerence services. The company’s Japanese division was the first to experience this Cerence Cloud Services when it debuted earlier this year. Cerence’s cloud service centers aim to accelerate voice assistants and improve their efficiency. The arrangement extended Toyota’s partnership with Cerence, which began in 2014, long before Cerence parted ways with Nuance. All cloud services are developing from Cerence Drive 2.0 at the beginning of the year. The upgrade improved the accuracy and speed of connected voice assistants and enabled AI to better understand complex, multi-part commands while expanding customization and upgrade options for automakers. Browse augments other features such as Cerence Look, which combines online databases and gaze tracking cameras to share information about what a driver is looking at and can be used to turn the car’s AI into a true tourist guide.
The Toyota deal is a potentially big win for Cerence as it undergoes its own changes. The most recent quarterly results warned of possible supply chain issues, causing at least a temporary drop in inventories. The Toyota news also came just a day after Cerence announced that CEO Sanjay Dhawan had stepped down and been replaced by Executive Vice President and Head of Commodities Stefan Ortmanns. The Toyota deal fits into Cerence’s overall strategy of leveraging its strengths to stand out even as the market becomes increasingly crowded for voice assistants in cars.
“Cerence Browse is a remarkable Deep Reasoning Network technology designed to help automakers create unique, human answers to questions,” Ortmanns said in a statement. “By implementing Cerence Browse, Toyota can expect to see an overall increase in in-vehicle voice assistant usage, as well as user engagement and satisfaction levels.”
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