Speech Recognition Problems Delay Multimedia Systems in Autos

Critical to addressing potential driver distraction issues, speech recognition problems force delays at Ford, GM and others.

Published: 08-Dec-2000

PARK RIDGE, Ill. The in-car PC boom that was supposed to be in full swing by now hasn't happened, and it may be delayed another 12 to 18 months as automakers and vendors run up against hurdles in implementing speech recognition systems.

The holdup is a disappointment for manufacturers that have invested millions in the development and promotion of in-car PCs. But because speech recognition systems are critical to addressing potential driver distraction issues, carmakers want them to be as close to perfect as possible. And they're not there yet, say industry observers.

Voice-recognition systems, such as Clarity's, are key to enabling next-gen auto electronics. "When we sign nondisclosure agreements and talk to automotive vendors, they all acknowledge that there are problems with speech recognition in vehicles," said Fred Nussbaum, vice president of business development for Clarity LLC (Troy, Mich.), a maker of software-based speech-capture systems. "They're not going to talk about it publicly, because there are a lot of legal ramifications, but the problems are there."

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