Now you don’t have to be David Hasselhoff to be able to talk to your car. Nuance Communications, the folks behind Dragon Speech Recognition software, on Monday announced Dragon Drive, a voice-command software program for cars that lets drivers use a 3G or 4G connection to tap into Nuance’s cloud-based language servers and perform some pretty cool actions.
In-vehicle voice-enabled software already exists: Ford Sync lets drivers use their voice to play a song or answer a call, but Dragon Drive has the possibility to take things a few steps further. And that could potentially mean some big developments for field techs in the van.
Dragon Drive will hit vehicles this summer, and its first iteration will have Siri-like features, including the ability for drivers to dictate and send a text message. But by utilizing an Internet-based connection that can access Nuance’s servers, Dragon Drive has to the capabilities to understand context and intents, which could make life easier for techs en route to or from a job.
According to Nuance’s Mike Thompson, the software will eventually focus on vehicle navigation and other functions more useful to a driver than just playing a song. Imagine the frequent scenario where a tech hits traffic on his way to a job site and is in need of a different route. Without pulling over to pull out his tablet/smartphone/GPS (don’t do it, it’s illegal in most states!), he could ask the onboard system for an alternate route with less traffic.
Techs could also benefit from voice-enabled texting, able to send a service update, product/job question or anything else back to the office, hands-free and without needing to pull over and stop. Both scenarios can save time and money by allowing the driver to perform job functions on the go.
These are just some of the possibilities we envision. What kinds of things can you imagine asking your van? Leave your response in the comments.