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Hyundai Motor collaborates with SoundHound to develop Intelligent Personal Agent voice-control technology

Hyundai Motor Company has partnered with Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc., a provider of AI and conversational intelligence technologies, to develop the “Intelligent Personal Agent,” a voice-enabled virtual assistant system, which will be deployed in new models set to roll out as early as 2019.

The Intelligent Personal Agent allows drivers to use voice commands for many different operations and real-time data. The Intelligent Personal Agent acts as a proactive assistant system, predicting the driver’s needs and providing useful information. For instance, the system may give an early reminder of an upcoming meeting and suggest departure times that account for current traffic conditions.

These personal features combine with an array of driver conveniences, such as the ability to make phone calls, send text messages, search destinations, search music, check weather and manage schedules. It also allows drivers to voice-control frequently used in-vehicle functions such as air-conditioning, sunroofs and door locks, while gathering various information about the vehicle. The Intelligent Personal Agent supports a “Car-to-Home” service, enabling the driver to control electronic devices at home with simple voice commands.

The Intelligent Personal Agent differentiates itself with multiple-command recognition. 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.

Intelligent Personal Assistant is based on SoundHound’s Houndify artificial intelligence (AI) platform, optimized for in-vehicle applications. When activated, the system reacts to the driver’s voice commands or questions by communicating with SoundHound AI server to search for the requested information or complete a task.

Hyundai Motor will unveil Intelligent Personal Agent during CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada in January. Early next year, Hyundai plans to demonstrate a simplified version of the Intelligent Personal Agent, equipping next-generation Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) scheduled for test drives on Korean public roads with the system. This test version will also be able to provide information on local sports events, including game schedules and results.

The assistant system will initially understand English but will expand support to other major languages going forward.

Hyundai’s partnership with SoundHound Inc. dates back to 2012. The All-New Veloster, set for launch in January 2018, will include SoundHound’s Korean music recognition service, while the English music recognition for the US market first debuted on a Genesis model in 2014.

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