You don’t need to have an R2-D2 unit in the back to talk to your vehicle. You even need to whip out your cell phone either, because Nuance Communications has officially unveiled Dragon Drive, a voice-based system that some are calling Siri for cars. I’m sure Apple appreciates the connection.
While there are already voice-based systems in cars, like Ford Sync by Microsoft, they can only do “local” things like change the song or adjust climate control. With Dragon Drive, the voice commands can extend to Nuance’s cloud-based language servers via 3G or 4G. This is not unlike the voice searches that you’d conduct on your smartphone of choice. Just like Siri, Dragon Drive can intepret context and intent, searching for information as needed. You just speak naturally, rather than having to follow a set voiced formula.
To be fair, you’re not getting “full” Siri functionality here. At least not yet, since Nuance is starting with just an SMS service via Dragon Drive. As adoption continues and grows, Nuance will layer on additional functions and features, like adapted versions of Dragon Dictation and DragonGo search. They could conceivably use Dragon Drive to look up real-time weather or traffic, or even find “recommended” songs that are similar to your existing playlist.
Is there another car that comes to mind when it comes to speaking naturally to your automobile? Nuance thinks so. EVP and GM Mike Thompason says, “We are already making KITT in many ways.”