Talking cars will no longer be just a "Knight Rider" fantasy. Nuance Communications today revealed Dragon Drive, the newest addition to the Dragon Dictation family.
The product is like having Siri in your car, but unlike Apple's official deal with Mercedes-Benz to make Siri a feature in new A-Class models, Dragon Drive won't be limited to one manufacturer.
Dragon Drive expands current vehicle voice command technology by connecting the console to 3G and 4G networks. Currently, voice commands are limited to basic tasks such as music or temperature controls because of the vehicle software's inability to process and understand higher-level commands. But with access to the cloud, cars will be able to recognize speech commands and interpret both content and intent, as Siri does for iPhone users.
All it will take is the press of a button on the steering wheel to activate the Dragon software. Spoken commands will be initially processed on-site before they are sent to Nuance's language servers in the cloud for analysis and then back to the vehicle for confirmation.
The first application of the software will keep avid texters from texting while driving by allowing drivers to dictate and send a SMS message to anyone in their contacts. Nuance will soon begin adding more features to Dragon Drive after its widespread release this summer.
According to Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance's mobile division, the end-goal of the software is to enable drivers to be able to have a natural conversation with their car.
"We are already making KITT in many ways," Thompson told Gigaom.com, referring to the talking Pontiac Trans-Am named KITT from the "Knight Rider" franchise. "There is a Siri-like effect sweeping across all product categories … There’s a huge demand for it in automotive."
KITT FROM KNIGHT RIDER:
Like Nuance's desktop and mobile software, Dragon Drive is an adaptive system that will learn the user's speech patterns over time. So the more time you spend talking to your car, the better it will get to know, enabling improved understanding of your commands.
Check out the gallery below to see the coolest futuristic cars on the road -- and in the skies.
(Image via Flickr, Mike Davis)