Cerence develops Knight Rider-style voice biometric interactions for cars

SEP 30, 2022

Innovative biometric technology is on the road, as several auto manufacturers roll out new features that use facial recognition, radar, Artificial Intelligence and other tools to enhance safety and convenience for drivers.

Those who remember the 1980s television show Knight Rider may recognize echoes of it in Cerence Inc’s Exterior Vehicle Communication, a suite of AI and voice-powered features that allow drivers to interact with their cars from the outside, according to a company announcement.

Cerence, a global leader in automotive technology, has combined its natural language understanding, text-to-speech, speech signal enhancement, and voice biometrics tools with an extensive microphone system to create something like Amazon’s Alexa, but for a car. Cerence Exterior Vehicle Communication will allow drivers to trigger actions with voice commands — for instance, to open the trunk or lock the car — and will have built-in biometric security features, such as voice recognition technology to verify a user’s identity. With Cerence’s system, if you are not David Hasselhoff, it is not a problem.

In a similar but more mundane implementation of voice controls, BMW is adding Amazon Alexa to the next generation of its in-car assistant, reports Jalopnik.

Some new biometric tech for vehicles is more inward-focused, and addresses life-or-death issues. Take Volvo’s new interior radar system, designed to safeguard against toddlers being left in hot cars, which U.S. government statistics show has caused more than 900 deaths nationwide since 1998. The company says sensors in the roof and trunk of the car will activate whenever someone tries locking the car, to determine if children or pets have been left inside. The system covers the entire interior, and can detect movement down to the sub-millimetre. Volvo plans to roll it out before the end of 2022, on its EX90 electric SUV model.

Not to be outdone in the EV department, electric auto maker Genesis has announced three new vehicles coming to the UK market, according to GazetteXtra. The GV60 model will come equipped with Face Connect, a suite of biometric goodies that makes use of sensors and facial recognition for security features and to remember presets for seat, mirror and display options.

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