Hyundai has taken a major step towards equipping future connected vehicles with the voice recognition technology.

Hyundai’s “Intelligent Personal Agent,” a voice-enabled virtual assistant system, will be deployed in new models set to roll out as early as 2019.

Co-developed by Hyundai and Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc, an innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, Intelligent Personal Agent allows drivers to use voice commands for many different operations.

It’s unique in that it’s a proactive assistant system, predicting the driver’s needs and providing useful information.

For example, the system may give an early reminder of a meeting and suggest departure times that account for current traffic conditions.

The system is activated by the wake-up voice command: “Hi, Hyundai.”

hyundaiThese 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. What’s more, the Intelligent Personal Agent supports a “Car-to-Home” service, enabling the driver to control electronic devices at home with simple voice commands.

The system is also unique because it can recognise multiple commands.

When the user says: “Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and turn off the lights in our living room” – the system recognises two separate commands in the same sentence and completes each task separately.

Hyundai will unveil Intelligent Personal Agent at CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January.

The system is based on SoundHound’s Houndify artificial intelligence (AI) platform, optimised for in-vehicle applications.

Hi Siri. Sorry, I mean Hyundai . . .


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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