Your in-car anchorman: Nuance’s Dragon Drive gives Mercedes-Benz news app a voice

Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems have long incorporated Nuance’s voice technologies, allowing for a range of capabilities that keep drivers connected while minimizing distractions. Now, in addition to voice dialing, voice destination and music search, Nuance’s expressive text-to-speech delivers drivers top news articles and information as part of a more intelligent in-car system.
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The world of connected cars is rapidly expanding with demand for accessing content safely on the road increasing with every accelerating step on the gas pedal. And innovations, particularly in domains of voice and natural language understanding, have made significant progress toward being a viable piece of a solution for minimizing dangerous manual-visual distractions.

Today, Nuance announced the availability of a Dragon Drive-powered News App in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, as part of their COMAND Online connected in-car system. The expressive text-to-speech technology within the application reads online news articles aloud in Mercedes-Benz models equipped with COMAND Online.

Through the app, drivers can listen to articles from a number of different news channels, allowing them to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road as they safely stay informed. Drivers will have access not only to the day’s top stories, but to other news categories, including domestic, international, politics, the economy and more.

By relying on Nuance’s intelligent expressive text-to-speech technology, the app delivers news to drivers with human-like, high-quality voices ideal for in-car readout. Nuance’s text-to-speech technology becomes increasingly natural over time, as it adapts and learns to pronounce new words and phrases, such as Gangnam Style, or prominent names in the news, such as Angela Merkel. Examples of the News App voice in a variety of languages can be found here. 

Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems have long incorporated Nuance’s voice technologies, allowing for a range of capabilities that keep drivers connected while minimizing distractions. Now, in addition to voice dialing, voice destination and music search, Nuance’s expressive text-to-speech delivers drivers top news articles and information as part of a more intelligent in-car system.

The updated News App with text-to-speech readout is available to Mercedes drivers in newly sold cars with COMAND Online as of June 2013, with rollout throughout the remainder of the year across North America, Europe and Asia in more than 20 languages, including: German, English UK, English US, French, Italian, Spanish (Castillian), Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Czech, Greek, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Korean and Arabic.

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About Fatima Vital

Fatima oversees Nuance’s global automotive and consumer electronics marketing programs, serving as the lead on solutions like Nuance’s popular Dragon Drive platform. Fatima has been with Nuance for over a decade, originally joining the company in February of 2003. Prior to her time at Nuance, Fatima’s early career included her working as a marketing director at Philips, with a focus on speech recognition solutions. Originally from Portugal and now residing in Germany, Fatima graduated from University of Siegen in Germany with a degree focused in business, marketing and finance. In her spare time, Fatima enjoys spending time with family and friends and is an active runner, skier and hiker.