Toyota Motor Corporation has partnered with Google Cloud to deploy AI-powered speech services in Toyota and Lexus cars that can function even while driving offline or in low-connected areas.
Toyota Connected North America’s vice president for machine learning, Ryan Wheeler said at the Google Cloud Next 2022 event that Toyota is using Google’s newly developed speech-on-device technology to create natural language understanding systems that can run in low and no connectivity environments.
With the growing popularity of voice assistants, the company has seen consumers increasingly expect accurate and consistent voice interactions.
Vehicles equipped with Toyota's latest-generation automotive grade Linux-based Audio Multimedia and Lexus Interface infotainment systems had already used Google Cloud's speech-to-text service to accurately perform automatic speech recognition for in-vehicle queries.
“The machine learning capabilities required to provide high-quality speech results have traditionally relied on a connection to the cloud,” he said.
The carmaker had wanted to modernise and design its own deep learning dialogue, and natural language understanding system with Google to continuously deliver the best customer experience.
Toyota is set to use Google’s speech on-device that equips embedded devices with AI-based speech recognition and synthesis available in the cloud, regardless of internet connectivity - on future Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
The future vehicle-native speech-on-device will enable voice requests to be served directly by the vehicle's multimedia system processors, without the need for internet connectivity, to power voice queries in select vehicles.
With voice interactions served locally, drivers will not have to worry about a tunnel or dead zone affecting voice commands, he explained.
The new feature is expected to be deployed in the latest 2023 car models like the Toyota Corolla family, Tundra, Sequoia and Lexus NX, RX and all-electric RZ.