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Cerence to deliver conversational AI for Audi’s next-generation Voice Assistant

Cerence Inc. announced that its Cerence Drive platform will bring an enhanced conversational experience to Audi’s new, next-generation voice assistant. This connected navigation and infotainment system provides real-time access to all content, services, and features within select Audi vehicles through the Audi Connect platform.

Cerence Drive utilises speech recognition, natural language understanding (NLU), text-to-speech (TTS), and speech signal enhancement to create a truly conversational automotive assistant for Audi that listens, understands, and responds to drivers. Leveraging Cerence’s most advanced NLU and deep learning-based algorithms for TTS and contextual understanding, Audi’s mobility assistant understands natural, everyday speech and delivers information in a uniquely expressive style for a more personal tone with in-car experience. The assistant can collaborate with and ask questions of the driver, navigate complex commands and queries with multiple steps, and offer options for the driver to choose from.

“The purpose of our Audi Connect platform is to create deeper integration and interaction between the driver, the car, and the outside world for an intelligent travel companion that’s with you every step of the way,” said Martin Deinhard, Head of Development Connected Services & Speech Assistant, Audi. “The innovations within the Cerence Drive platform empower a conversational mobility assistant and infotainment experience that makes it safer and more natural than ever to interact with your Audi vehicle.”

With speed and reliability in mind, Cerence built the assistant, including its Audi-branded TTS capabilities, with both cloud-based and embedded components. This unique, hybrid approach provides drivers with fast and natural access to the services and features they need – ranging from news, music, and weather to navigation, parking, and fuel – even in areas of low or no connectivity.

“Cerence Drive makes it possible for leading automakers, like Audi, to create highly customized and branded experiences that enable deeper connections between drivers and their cars,” said Sanjay Dhawan, CEO, Cerence. “With Audi’s new voice personality and a keen attention to the applications, services, and content that are core to the Audi driving experience, we’ve delivered a natural, comfortable, and intelligent interface that truly differentiates the Audi system.”

Audi’s new voice assistant platform is currently available in Audi’s A8, A6, A1, A4, Q7, Q3, and e-tron models, with additional models to come in 2020.

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