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CES: Hyundai reveals in-car assistant

HAL 9000: Hyundai will feature its new Intelligent Personal Agent in its vehicles from 2019 onward, allowing drivers to access an AI-powered digital assistant with the ‘Hi, Hyundai’ voice command.

Voice-activated, AI-powered digital helper to debut in Hyundai models from 2019

27 Dec 2017

HYUNDAI has revealed a voice-activated, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, digital assistant technology – dubbed Intelligent Personal Agent – that the South Korean brand plans to roll out into new vehicles as early as 2019.

Developed in conjunction with SoundHound Inc – an audio recognition and cognition specialist – Intelligent Personal Agent is designed to be proactive and can predict driver’s needs to provide useful information, according to Hyundai.

As an example, the car-maker states the system will be able to set reminders about upcoming meetings and can make suggestions on departure times and drive routes to said appointment.

In addition, voice commands can also be issued to Intelligent Personal Agent for convenience functions such as making phone calls, sending text messages, setting satellite navigation destinations, searching music and checking weather.

The voice controls extend to vehicle functions too, with the ability to command air-conditioning, sunroof and door locks, as well as connecting to the Internet to allow for operation of certain connected devices at home.

According to Hyundai, “the Intelligent Personal Agent sets itself apart from the competition with its ‘multiple-command recognition’ function” that allows drivers to issue two commands in the same sentence.

Underpinned by SoundHound’s Houndify AI technology, Intelligent Personal Agent will be optimised for in-vehicle applications and can be activated with the ‘Hi, Hyundai’ voice command.

A simplified version of the technology will make its way to Hyundai’s next-generation fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) due for testing next year, while the new Veloster will sport SoundHound’s Korean music recognition system – a technology, albeit in English, already available on the US-spec Genesis.

Hyundai Motor Company director of infotainment development group Paul Choo said cutting-edge technologies are becoming more and more integral to the driving experience.

“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,” he said.

“These elements play a key role in delivering connected-car-generated information.”

Intelligent Personal Agent will make its public debut at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

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