Top trends shaping in-car voice technology

Digital assistants are evolving rapidly, but progress is needed to address racial inequality and security concerns. By Megan Lampinen

In-vehicle voice assistants are poised to play a starring role in the user experience moving forward. If done right, they can offer a host of convenience benefits for drivers and improve safety by handling many tasks that would otherwise prove distracting. Navigant Research predicts that nearly 90% of new vehicles will come with embedded voice assistants by 2028; that doesn’t leave much time to work out the kinks in existing offerings, including a sizeable racial divide. The good news is that plenty of innovation is underway.

“Alexa and Siri pushed consumer expectations and now they simply expect voice in the car,” says Shyamala Prayaga, Autonomous Conversational AI Vision Lead at Ford and the founder of the Digital Assistant Academy. “The early applications were pretty bad, very command-based, which meant you couldn’t talk naturally. But since then, the automotive industry has put in considerable effort to create a more holistic voice experience and it continues to evolve.”

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