Electronic Design

Let Your Car Lead The Way

Forget about stopping to ask someone for directions next time you take a wrong turn. Just ask your car! The Honda Motor Company has integrated IBM's Embedded ViaVoice software into its in-car navigation systems. With the software's advanced speech-recognition and text-to-speech capabilities, drivers can name a street address and listen as the system provides turn-by-turn voice guidance to the destination. Now drivers needn't take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road as they fumble for dials or look at a display.

The companies began by digitally processing hundreds of hours of speech recordings found in previous Honda systems, as well as recording hundreds of additional messages. The system digitally segments the speech and intonations for a high-quality, customized, natural-sounding text-to-speech voice. Drivers can access more than 700 commands and 1.7 million street and city names by voice. The system will be standard equipment on the 2005 Acura RL and optional on the 2005 Acura MDX and 2005 Honda Odyssey.

There's more than maps in this system, too. The AcuraLink feature will communicate information between dealers and drivers. The HandsFreeLink will use Bluetooth technology to synchronize personal cell-phone data with the car's environment for safe, hands-free operation. The system provides command and control capabilities for the car's audio, DVD, and climate-control functions. And, it offers nationwide dining information, complete with directions and reviews, courtesy of Zagat's Survey.

For more information, go to www.ibm.com or www.honda.com.

TAGS: Components
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