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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Drivers Believe Voice-Controlled Systems Would Improve Driving Safety

International Survey Reveals Survey Reveals More Motorists Are Depending on Voice-Controlled Functions

The results of a recent survey of almost 1,000 drivers in the United States, Germany, and Japan, to determine the experience and anticipations of car owners who use voice-enabled functions in cars was recently released by Nuance Communications, a leading manufactured of speech-enabled applications for automobiles. The study showed that drivers depend greatly on in-vehicle information and communication systems— and they're willing to spend more for the ease of use and safety advantages offered by speech-enabled functions in autos.

According to Nuance, the survey reveals that a significant number of drivers around the world are adopting voice-activated dialing or speech messaging systems. Twenty percent of those surveyed are reading SMS messages, while 16 percent are sending SMS messages. Over 60 percent of survey respondents felt that speech systems would make driving safer, and almost 70 percent indicated that speech-based equipment make it easier to use in-vehicle systems.

"The proliferation of technology in cars, such as mobile phones, navigation systems and MP3 players, has created a global fleet of distracted drivers," commented Craig Peddie, vice president and general manager, Embedded Speech Solutions, Nuance. "From voice-activated dialing and voice destination entry for navigation systems to speech-based control of entertainment systems, embedded speech applications deliver the hands-free, eyes-free interface that today's electronically connected drivers need to balance on-road safety and personal convenience."

Furthermore, the survey also divulged a wealth of regional/cultural differences that influence respondents' experience and expectations for speech-enabled equipment in cars. For example, US motorists by far are more likely to take or make phone calls while driving. Europeans were most enthusiastic for speech-based systems, while considerably more German drivers indicated interest in speech-based navigation equipment as well as the ability to listen to and dictate SMS messages while driving. US respondents who use MP3 players are more interested in speech-enabled entertainment devices than those surveyed from around the world. Speech-enabled MP3 devices were the highest ranked speech application for US drivers.

Other survey results are:

• 60 percent use cell phone address books to select an existing contact while driving, and 54 percent are likely to accept incoming calls. 75 percent feel voice activated name dialing is useful, while almost 65 percent wish to be informed by voice about incoming calls.

• 76 percent of those surveyed input or change destinations on navigation devices while driving. Over 70 percent think that voice navigation systems improve safety and 76 percent believe that using speech to control navigation systems while driving makes it easier to use the navigation system.

• Over 60 percent would rather own a car with voice destination entry for navigation than a car without voice destination entry abilities in the same category and price.

• Almost 70 percent of MP3 users feel that using voice-controlled audio and entertainment systems make it easier to use these systems while driving. Over 60 percent are interested in using voice to change radio stations, or saying the title or artist to select a song from a playlist.

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