The Sony vision S was one of the big surprises of CES as the Japanese manufacturer laid out its plans to get into the car business. Now, South Korean competitor LG has also thrown its hat into the ring with a new AI-powered connected car platform.
The trend continues: traditional consumer tech companies are desperate to get into the automobile industry. LG has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Cerence Inc. – which recently spun off from Nuance Communications – to develop a new software solution that integrates LG's webOS Auto In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system with Cerence ARK (AI Reference Kit). The result will be another new digital voice assistant for the automotive market.
Together, the companies are aiming to create a more convenient in-car experience through voice commands that allow drivers and passengers to have more control over car functions, navigation, and multimedia content. It all sounds a lot like another direct competitor to Google's Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay.
The partnership is expected to deliver more efficient management of resources required to integrate Cerence ARK with webOS Auto, and the companies say they are aiming to provide OEM and Tier 1 manufacturers with a pre-packaged, full-stack IVI software system that will shorten the time-to-market.
LG's webOS Auto is a Linux-powered IVI platform for connected cars designed to provide car manufacturers with productivity and flexibility for what the company is calling the “next-generation in-vehicle experience”. Cerence ARK is a turnkey automotive product that enables automakers to develop, deploy and manage a fully localized automotive voice assistant. Nothing was announced about what kind of artificial inteligence is being used here, or if LG is developing its own digital voice assistant for the project. The company already works with Google and Amazon to bring Assistant and Alexa to its connected home appliances and televisions.
“We look forward to this collaboration with Cerence to develop a turnkey voice solution for today's auto and component makers to accelerate the arrival of the connected car,” said Dr. I.P. Park, president and CTO of LG Electronics. “We will continue to evolve webOS Auto by offering a wider range of AI-powered experiences for both manufacturers and auto customers.”
“We are honored and excited to partner with LG Electronics on a solution that harnesses the collective power and promise of webOS Auto and Cerence ARK,” said Sanjay Dhawan, CEO, Cerence. “This new offering will support automakers and tier-one suppliers as they rapidly innovate, speed the time to market, and deliver a state-of-the-art in-car experience unlike any other.”
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