Future of voice interfaces in the next-gen Auto HMI

The voice replaces the touch – boldly said, but that is one big trend that is happening in the Car HMI development. We can already see the natural language replacing the touch as the voice user interfaces (VUIs)blend into the HMIs at home and mobile. However, in-car voice experience can not be just a copy from your home. The context, like location, speed, weather, etc. has to be taken into account so that experience is seamless and does not cause an additional distraction to the driver.

Siili Auto has been working with Amazon Alexa to include Voice UI in the HMI. We wanted to combine our experience of designing, prototyping, and implementing digital HMIs and Alexa advanced voice technology to research and experiment with VUI's impact on driver experience.

We have used Alexa Auto SDK for a while and created a prototype integrating Amazon Alexa for both offline and online services to an Infotainment system demonstrator. The infotainment system has four applications providing different functionalities. Every application is created with the voice-first approach, which means that every feature can be operated using Alexa:

•Navigation- will allow a user to search for POI, navigate to the selected point.

•Media player - plays music from different sources, controls playback.

•Contacts- supports searching for contacts, handling phone calls and messaging.

•HVAC- allows changing temperature, air-conditioning or seat heating.

We gained a lot of valuable insight from the prototype, especially about the specific in-car conditions that must be considered when designing the Voice UI experience. The results are very promising, and Alexa is working seamlessly in offline and online scenarios in the car. Our work continues in this field. We will post more details soon.

About the authors

Timo Posio

Timo Posio is a passionate technology and software guy and senior manager with close to 30 years of IT experience in telecom and automotive. Currently, Timo works as Business Development Manager in the Siili_Auto Oulu office.

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