Intelligent voice assistants such as Alexa and Google dominated CES 2018. Mobile-developed features from Amazon and Google appear to be winning out for almost all use cases in future cockpit concepts. The ability to leverage consumer familiarity and build a seamless connected experience has led to direct and immediate implications for all automotive voice control suppliers.
Toyota announced at CES that Amazon’s Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant will be added to some Toyota and Lexus vehicles this year. Several other automakers have enabled Alexa in their vehicles.
“Voice services are rapidly becoming more popular and through our integration with Amazon Alexa, Toyota and Lexus customers will soon be able to easily speak to Alexa in their cars while on-the-go,” said Zack Hicks, senior vice president and chief information officer of Toyota Motor North America and chief executive officer and president of Toyota Connected.
“We’re thrilled that Toyota and Lexus will bring Alexa to customers on the road,” said John Scumniotales, head of product for Amazon Alexa Automotive. “Our vision for Alexa is that she should be everywhere a customer might need her – at home, in the office, on phones – and in cars. This integration means that customers can interact with Alexa, virtually anywhere they drive.”
Once Alexa is enabled, just ask her to do things like adjust your smart home’s temperature so it’s comfortable when you get there, add milk to your shopping list on your way to the store, or listen to your audiobook from Audible.
A new report from the In-Vehicle User Experience (IVX) service at Strategy Analytics “CES 2018: Voice Assistants Invade, Autonomous Concepts Roll Out” presents its outlook on some of the technological advances announced at CES 2018 which will impact user experience within the automotive industry.
“Voice will always be a crucial piece of the automotive HMI puzzle no matter the path to full autonomy; and context-aware voice assistants add great value to the on-board UX. However, the on-board voice experience has traditionally been limited by slow computing power and poor design. Consumer expectations are outpacing development; the opportunities for disruption will be plentiful,” said Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author.
“Even though many mobile-based systems are not particularly natural, useful or conversational, they are increasingly familiar thanks to wider implementation outside the car. While suppliers such as iNago, iFlyTek, Nuance, and Voicebox all exhibited robust voice solutions for the car at CES 2018, the proliferation of digital assistants in the car will make certain specialized suppliers irrelevant in the near future,” added Chris Schreiner, Director of Syndicated Research, UXIP.