QNX announces improvements to its in-car hands-free systems

QNX Mercedes
By Richard Devine on 4 Jun 2014 07:56 am EDT

Following the announcement of a new in-car operating system, QNX has also introduced the newest version of its Acoustics for Voice system that handles hands-free communications. Version 3.0 has been made official at the Detroit Telematics conference and adds improvements to echo cancellation, noise reduction, adaptive equalization, automatic gain control and more.

Our cars are fast becoming more than just transportation. They're mobile offices, extensions of our mobile lives, and technology like that which QNX is announcing here just makes the whole experience that much more pleasurable.

As with QNX's other Detroit announcements, Acoustics for Voice System version 3.0 will be available in Q3 2014. Keep on reading for much more with the full press release.

DETROIT, Telematics Detroit Conference, June 4, 2014 — QNX Software Systems Limited, a subsidiary of BlackBerry Limited and a global leader in software platforms for in-car electronics, today announced QNX® Acoustics for Voice 3.0, the newest addition to the company's portfolio of acoustics middleware products.

Designed to help hands-free and speech recognition systems deliver the highest quality user experience, QNX® Acoustics for Voice 3.0 offers advancements in echo cancellation, noise reduction, adaptive equalization, automatic gain control, and other features for narrowband and wideband speech processing. It also supports Wideband Plus speech processing to satisfy the demanding voice-quality requirements of the latest smartphone connectivity protocols for telephony, VoIP services, and speech recognition. QNX Acoustics for Voice 3.0 is based on QNX acoustics technology that has been road-proven in more than 20 million vehicles.

"Cars are inherently noisy, and noise is the mortal enemy of any hands-free or speech recognition system, whether that system is built into the car or brought in through a smartphone," said Grant Courville, director of product management, QNX Software Systems. "QNX Acoustics for Voice is specifically designed to filter out noise from tires, roads, fans, and vents, enabling clear, crisp speech voice communications that can lighten the cognitive load on the driver and reduce distraction."

Highly modular, QNX Acoustics for Voice 3.0 supports many advanced features, including: High efficiency speech processing — Advanced algorithms use fewer hardware CPU cycles when processing wideband and Wideband Plus speech, freeing up CPU headroom for other acoustic or infotainment applications.

Diagnostic tools — To help speed time-to-market, the solution includes an extensive diagnostic toolset to facilitate parameter tuning. QNX Software Systems can also provide onsite experts to further help customers tune their in-car solutions.

Automotive-grade echo cancellation and noise reduction (AEC/NR) — For building full-duplex hands-free and speech recognition systems.

Design flexibility for targeting multiple vehicle lines — The solution can work with a variety of speech recognizers, whether they are running in the cloud and accessed through a smartphone, or embedded in the car. It can also run on a variety of operating systems, processors, and DSPs, enabling customers to migrate features across vehicle lines.

Choice of development libraries — The standard library supports both narrow and wideband speech, at 8 kHz and 16 kHz sample rates, respectively. The premium library supports these bandwidths and it also supports Wideband Plus, with its wider range of audio frequencies, at a 24 kHz sample rate, enabling customers to address the voice processing requirements of the latest smartphone connectivity protocols for the car.

Compliance with industry standards — Complies with Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) ITU-T P.1100 and ITU-T P.1110 specifications for hands-free systems.

Availability QNX Acoustics for Voice 3.0 is scheduled for release in Q3 2014.

Topics: QNX News & Rumors

Reader comments

QNX announces improvements to its in-car hands-free systems


Currently there is no synergy between BlackBerry10 and QNX-for-cars.

And currently iOS and Android are more advanced in their projects with QNX-for-cars than BlackBerry10 is.

The latest proof is Apple's CarPlay, which relies on QNX-for-cars.

So no, Samsung, Apple and Google are not laughing at QNX at all.

Posted via CB10

Look at the pic, it's Mercedes, Porsches, BMW's, High end German Marque's and some American performance cars

Posted via CB10

Depends on what Ford licenses from QNX.

Maybe they buy the whole package and even have a full QNX built infotainment system.

Maybe they just hire another software company and they build a custom infotainment system using the open source QNX kernel.

Saying you are using QNX can mean a LOT of different things.

Why do you think Ford switched to QNX,Chen might have his canny ability and know how to make a profit in a year or two and increase revenues from QNX.If I were a company I would certainly give away a years profit to make a killing in a year or two.

Would be great if someday we could upgrade the systems in our vehicles. A simple method like we do with our BB10.

Before anyone starts, yes I know there is a very good chance the manufactures will never allow this.

Posted via CB10

Many of these systems allow you to upgrade, usually by inserting a special disc into the drive. OTA is not an option. That I know if, but firmware upgrades are definitely possible.

Posted via CB10

Bravo BlackBerry.

Out of all the darkness there is still some light.

QNX, BBM - two down, two to go.

Enterprise still needs work, the devices still need a design refresh.

Not bad going Mr Chen for CEO in the job since last November.

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!!

Posted via CB10

Safety focus. Hands free is a basic safety feature. Yes, that's the right angle
I mean compared to something like infotainment where there are other role players, focus on the basic principles.
Posted via CB10

Voice recognition stuff like saying the suburb when you order at Domino's can be a bit of an experience while using the handsfree via Bluetooth, the computer lady at the other end often gets it wrong....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

When will all this stuff BlackBerry and QNX keeps showing off for years actually be in a car we see on the road?

QNX will continue to rise above the other mobile OSs out there. Despite some talk about BlackBerry going Android, I hope those folks will look at all the goodies QNX is bringing to BlackBerry and mobile technology in general.

QNX has come up with quite a few in-car concepts. I want to see QNX do better than that. I want to have one in my next car, and it won't be a Bentley or a Porsche. How I wish!

Hands free voice recognition is awesome. Now when will e/bicycles get that as an addon to mount? :P

Keep rocking it blackberry!

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Hopefully they will add the noise cancelling tech to BlackBerry 10 because it currently sucks when used in a vehicle. It has to time out in order to do a command because it doesn't know I've stopped speaking. I picks up all the background noise.

Posted via CB10

Are there any aftermarket stereos that a car owner can install that currently support QNX 2.0 and sync easily with BB10?

Proud BlackBerry Shareholder posted from CB app on a Q10.