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Hyundai Motor develops AI assistant for cars

Dec 22,2017
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A rendering of the dashboard of future vehicles by Hyundai Motor that will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2018. [HYUNDAI MOTOR]
Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top automotive company, has introduced an artificial intelligence-driven agent that can interact with drivers through voice recognition, the company’s latest effort to integrate advanced technology into its products.

“The Intelligent Personal Agent is unique in that it acts as a proactive assistant system, predicting the driver’s needs and providing useful information,” said the company through a press release.

The system is based on an artificial intelligence platform developed by SoundHound, a Silicon Valley-based tech company that partnered with Hyundai for the project. The platform is optimized for in-vehicle applications, according to the carmaker. When activated, the system reacts to a driver’s voice commands or questions by searching for information on a server created by SoundHound.

It can reportedly understand sentences with several commands, which Hyundai describes as a “multiple-command recognition” function.

“When the user says, ‘Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and turn off the lights in our living room,’ the system recognizes two separate commands in the same sentence and completes each task separately,” said the company. It controls electronic devices at home through a “Car-to-Home” service.

“Sophisticated voice recognition and AI integration are core to effectively providing drivers with the massive content and data that future connected vehicles have to offer,” said Paul Choo, Director of Infotainment Development Group at Hyundai Motor Company. “These elements play a key role in delivering connected-car-generated information.”

Other than basic assistance features such as making phone calls, searching for destinations and providing information such as weather conditions, the system can help the driver to manage his or her schedule, which the company describes as a “proactive assistant” feature. It provides an alert to remind the driver of upcoming appointments and “suggests departure times that account for current traffic conditions.”

“We spent a decade developing Houndify, the most advanced voice AI platform, to enable partners the ability to create customized experiences for their products,” said Keyvan Mohajer, Founder and CEO of SoundHound.

At the moment, the system can only recognize English.

The system will be available in Hyundai’s vehicles in 2019.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]