Press Release: QNX Announces New In-Car Speech Recognition Framework to Understand a Speaker's Intent

By Adam Zeis on 7 Jan 2013 09:00 am EST

The QNX car platform has has done some amazing things over the years and today adds another great feature to their already big arsenal. The new in-car speech recognition framework will now recognize a speakers intent for voice commands. The framework allows applications to access AT&T Watson which provides a more natural understanding of spoken commands. This means users can do things like create calendar appointments, dictate email, give voice navigation instructions or even perfom internet searches. Very cool stuff that adds to the already amazing QNX car platform. Check out the full press release below.

QNX Announces New In-Car Speech Recognition Framework to Understand a Speaker's Intent

New intent framework to bring power of AT&T Watson(SM) speech recognition engine to wider variety of in-car systems and applications

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - January 07, 2013) - QNX Software Systems Limited, a global leader in software platforms for in-car electronics, has announced a powerful new framework that will allow speech recognition systems in cars to understand a speaker's intent. The framework extracts meaning from the driver's spoken words, enabling in-car systems to create calendar appointments, dictate email or text messages, set complex navigation destinations, and even perform general Internet searches.

The framework, which is a component of the QNX CARTM application platform, allows in-car applications to access AT&T Watson(SM) speech recognition technology. AT&T Watson(SM) is AT&T's pioneering speech services platform, which enables the development of next-generation technologies that go beyond speech to power more advanced natural language understanding and automatic speech recognition, among other capabilities. The multimodal and multilingual speech engine runs on a cloud-based server to provide extremely high-quality recognition with low latency.

Determination of the intent behind the driver's speech starts on the server, where the AT&T Watson speech engine begins to analyze words and fits them to known patterns. The results are then handed from the cloud to the car, where the in-vehicle intent engine from QNX Software Systems performs the remainder of the speech analysis to determine how to act.

"Sharing the workload across client and server offers automotive manufacturers and end-users the best of both worlds," said Andy Gryc, automotive product marketing manager, QNX Software Systems. "The server-side analysis, provided by AT&T Watson, is optimized for complex scenarios, such as a navigation application in which the driver may verbalize destinations in hundreds of different ways. The QNX client-side analysis grants car makers greater flexibility, enabling them to adapt the AT&T Watson results for a variety of in-car applications, regional aspects, or personal tastes."

"For many of us, the most natural way to communicate is with our voice. By working with QNX and opening access to our rich set of speech technologies developed at our labs, we're making it possible for more people to use the power of their voice to stay safely connected in their vehicles," said Mazin Gilbert, assistant vice president of technical research, AT&T Labs. "Delivering this type of next-generation virtual assistant applications for the connected car is especially important as we look at how technology can help drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel."

The intent system from QNX Software Systems is dynamically pluggable, which allows the recognized vocabulary to change depending on what applications are active, and to support new apps that are downloaded to the car.

"Enabling natural, intuitive, user experiences is fundamental to our vision of the connected vehicle, and providing our automotive customers with the tools to create those experiences is fundamental to our product strategy," said Linda Campbell, director of strategic alliances, QNX Software Systems. "By providing a framework that enables our customers to take greater advantage of AT&T's phenomenal speech engine, the new intent system should help accelerate the adoption of speech recognition across a broad range of vehicles."

The QNX CAR application platform from QNX Software Systems is a comprehensive, pre-integrated software stack designed to help automotive companies reduce the time and effort of building highly sophisticated and connected infotainment systems.

QNX Software Systems has licensed its software technology for millions of in-vehicle systems worldwide, including digital instrument clusters, hands-free systems, multimedia head units, connectivity modules, and 3D navigation systems.

Developed at AT&T Labs, AT&T Watson(SM)has been powering advanced speech services in the marketplace for years. The technology reflects more than one million hours of research and development in speech technologies that has led to more than 600 U.S. patents and patent applications.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Press Release: QNX Announces New In-Car Speech Recognition Framework to Understand a Speaker's Intent


A good accessory for my upcoming BlackBerry 10 device, I hope they can be paired :D Now just need to find where can I buy this car

I was thinking the same thing. It would be awesome if the service was used in the voice aspect of BB10 when launched. Would give credence to the statement Thor made when he said that they would be working with partners who do things well. No need to to everything in house if you can partner with someone who can do it better.

Rooting for RIM, don't let me down, BlackBerry by choice.

Shouldn't be tough. Siri is not very good. My wife thinks its so terrible that she never even uses it after her first several attempts at it.

Yes, Siri is SOOOO..... Terrible that cars like BMW, GM, Landrover, Mercedes, Audi, Honda, Jaguar, Chrysler and now Hyundai will be providing " Siri Eyes Free" integration in their vehicles. :)

Judging by how great iMaps turned out, your new BMW running "Siri Eyes Free" will probably direct you into the nearest light pole or oncoming traffic..

Poor BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Landrover, Jaguar ..... they made a terrible mistake and should have listened to "mnhockeycoach99" and the wife of "eyhab27" ! :)

Troll or Apple fanboy. Siri is so bad that even Farhad Manjoo - one of the biggest Apple fanboys out there - has dissed it mercilessly. You're probably the only person out there who actually thinks it's any good. Just because a bunch of car companies are incorporating it, doesn't mean it's good - just means that Apple is popular and the car companies recognize that.

As quoted by BMW:
"The integration of Siri using the BMW voice command steering wheel controls is a logical next step. Apple’s new Eyes Free mode enables drivers to use Siri to interact with their iPhone by voice even in the car . Users can not only make a call but also tune in to their favorite music, send a text message, create reminders, set alarms or create events without ever having to look for their phone. BMW is planning to have Siri integration available by mid-2013.”
Integration with a phone and the entire vehicle are two different things. QNX is the brains behind the vehicle's functions.

This gives me hope for what may be included in BB10, and the possibility that BB10 will benefit from the same kind of integration that Apple currently enjoys with manufacturers

AT&T Watson is what is used to power voice commands in BlackBerry 10, it has been shown in the credits of dev documentation.

If you have a Android, check out recent start up with great potential. They are also looking at other platforms once they get the resources

A recent thread poster pointed to a meeting between QNX and ATT and some other guys as well. He suspected someTHANG (his/her words) was going on between them, that is, RIM(QNX) and ATT. Now with this announcement we now know what.

The first thought through my mind was... driver says "we need LUCK" and the car re-routes the GPS to the nearest red light district.

Would like to see the car in action.....hope the cars also bridge to my new BB10 phone like the Playbook bridges to our current BB phones. After all, it is our phones that carry our personal stuff with us everywhere......I believe that is where Thor wishes to go....the cars will be capable on their own, like the Playbook now is, and then when you enter with you BB10 phone, it will come to life personally with all your messaging, calendar events, contacts etc.....super cool!