Toyota and Google have announced a partnership that will see the automaker using the tech company’s newest AI-driven speech service feature. More importantly, the said feature will become available in the next generation of Toyota and Lexus infotainment systems, regardless of their internet connection – even with the lack thereof.
The latest Toyota and Lexus infotainment systems are Linux-based and are already using technology from Google Cloud. Its voice assistant feature uses Google Cloud’s Speech-to-Text service to accurately perform automatic speech recognition for in-vehicle queries. This was co-developed between the Toyota Motor North America Connected Technologies and Toyota Connected organizations since 2018.
The latest partnership aims to take this up a notch by using an AI-driven system that no longer needs an internet connection.
Traditionally, speech and voice assistant interactions rely heavily on the strength of internet connection as natural language processing is extremely complex and can require specialized computers.
“By working closely with Toyota to understand its in-vehicle device requirements and capabilities, we were able to provide server-like quality while using only a small fraction of the processing power to ensure the best possible experience for drivers,” said Umesh Vemuri VP, Global Strategic Customers & Industries, Google Cloud.
With Google Cloud’s latest Speech On-Device feature, embedded devices will get the same powerful, AI-driven speech recognition and synthesis available in the cloud, regardless of internet connectivity. More importantly, it will become available to Toyota and Lexus vehicles soon without waiting for the next Toyota infotainment update coming in 2025.
Specifically, the offline, AI-powered voice assistant will be available in the 2023 model year Toyota vehicles, including the Tundra, Sequoia, and Corolla family. Likewise, 2023 Lexus vehicles will get the same, particularly the NX, RX, and all-electric RZ.
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