Talk to your car with conversational voice interface for in-car - WBCB: The Valley's CW |

Talk to your car with conversational voice interface for in-car navigation

By Georgina Torbet

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Now that everyone has gotten used to talking to Siri on their iPhone or Alexa in their home, the next logical step is to enable a voice interface for cars. There is the Echo Auto from Amazon which plays music and answers voice queries, but it only offers navigation features when interfaced with a navigation app on your phone. A new collaboration between connected car solution provider Telenav and Amazon Alexa aims to achieve a totally seamless integration of navigation and voice assistant, bringing Alexa into your car to help you find your way when you drive.

Telenav offers a turnkey navigation solution that can be customized to fit in various sorts of cars, and now it can be integrated with Amazon Alexa for voice searching. The Alexa Auto SDK allows drivers to access navigation systems in a hands-free way, ensuring that there will be no dangerous fiddling with navigation devices while driving. The navigation system will offer features like asking Alexa to enter a destination, checking traffic to find the clearest route, and offering directions.

But the appeal of the Alexa system is not just about navigation — it also aims to integrate the Alexa experience from home to the car. So, you could be at home and ask Alexa to make a reservation at a restaurant for you, then when you go to your vehicle the restaurant location will be automatically available in your navigation system. The Telenav system runs in the background to monitor local traffic conditions, so it can let you know when to leave given the delays you could expect to experience.

“Telenav is not merely adding voice-recognition software to the car,” said Sal Dhanani, Telenav Co-President of Telenav’s Automotive Business Unit in a statement. “It is making voice-based services like Alexa compatible with drivers’ needs and vehicle safety standards, ultimately expanding opportunities for consumers to have a single integrated voice service available at home, on mobile, and in the vehicle.”

If you’re wondering who wants Alexa integration in their car, the answer seems to be quite a lot of people. According to an Autotrader survey, 64 percent of customers say that they would be willing to pay for more technology features when they buy their next car, and 87 percent of customers who are planning to purchase a car soon say they intend to research the technology features while shopping around.

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