What Does Voice Automation Mean for the Automotive Industry?

One of the hottest trends in the automotive market involves the inclusion of voice automation. By pairing Alexa from Amazon and other AI technologies to your car, a simple voice command could raise the volume on your sound system or turn on the cabin lights.

Is the inclusion of voice-activated digital assistants a good idea for drivers?

Artificial intelligence and digital assistants often get marketed as a way for us to purchase things or call family members and friends. If this technology knows where and when we usually drive, can it provide helpful insights, or does it create privacy concerns that must get addressed?

76% of Voice Automation Users Want That Feature in Their Car

Starting with the iDrive system in the BMW 7 Series, we’ve discovered that the challenge of including voice automation in vehicles involves the cabin environment. When you’re driving at high speeds, then noise can make it challenging to have a conversation.

Now imagine trying to tell your car what to do with all of that background audio stimulus happening.

Recording systems struggle to accurately record what a driver says. If the words are not understandable, then a command cannot be followed. When you include the fact that automotive-grade processors are rarely state of the art because of the conditions a vehicle faces, then the issues with this technology become even more profound.

Improved computing in recent years is changing this problem to a solution. Access to the cloud provides another crucial benefit.

Your Car Could Leverage the Cell Towers Around You

Vehicles are increasingly leveraging the cell towers that are in each community. Having access to cloud computing services and improved computational power is also encouraging voice automation for late-model cars.

Although the demand for this technology is minimal right now, the annual sales of light-duty vehicles with digital voice assistants are forecast to reach 100 million by 2027. What is even more impressive about the estimate is that a majority of that demand will come from the Asia-Pacific region.

Connectivity is vital to the success of this technology. That means rural consumers must have access to some type of local processing power as a backup system if a cell tower or Internet connection isn’t available. The size and scope of a localized system will have limitations when compared to the cloud-based technologies that urban drivers enjoy, but the tech will still be much better than the state-of-the-art methods used 15 years ago.

The introduction of 5G technology could change the way we think about driving. If a digital assistant, powered by AI, is along for the ride, then it could be a revolutionary step forward for the automotive industry.