Tata cars and SUVs in India will soon get an Indian vernacular voice assistant that has been co-developed by Mihup Communication – a Kolkata-based start-up – and Harman International. The partnership aims to enhance user experience in Tata cars and SUVs, and bridge the gap between native-speaking users and providing access to innovation.
Tata’s voice assistance now gets support for ‘Hinglish’ inputs
‘Tamilish’ and ‘Benglish’ language support to be added soon
Currently available on select trims of the Altroz and Nexon
Mihup’s changes to the Tata voice assistance
As reported by our sister publication, Autocar professional, Mihup says that while Tata Motors’ cars and SUVs were provided with an in-car voice assistant, it had a limited dictionary and vernacular languages or Indian dialect support was absent. The carmaker wanted an embedded solution to make the experience hands-free for drivers, available to the masses, and disassociate the identity of voice assistance with a luxury offering.
The start-up says its solution, christened ‘AVA Auto’, addresses all the opportunities for improvement specific to the earlier voice assistant from the carmaker. It offers online, offline, and hybrid connectivity options among other features. The solution supports Hinglish (Hindi + English) language. The system responds back based on user voice command without the need for a manual switch. The company aims to introduce AVA support for Tamilish and Benglish soon, with a plan to cover all major Indian languages by 2022.
According to the firm, voice adoption across vehicular platforms is continuously on the rise and it is estimated that 8 billion voice assistants will be in use by 2023. About 95 percent customers are expected to use in-vehicle voice assistants by 2022. There is a 60 percent higher monthly usage of in-vehicle voice assistants as compared to smart speakers, but the existing solutions do not cater to the need for ease of usage by the end customers.
Tata voice assistant: what it offers now
After assessing multiple use cases and languages, the product will soon go live on Tata cars and SUVs. The offline (Voice AI on the edge) model has been deployed on variants of the Tata Altroz premium hatchback and Tata Nexon compact SUV. AVA allows the driver to get a completely hands-free voice-based control for important car functions and control – AC, volume, AM/FM and Music System among others. It provides natural language support for making phone calls and playing music from USB, supporting navigation commands and also for vehicle information.
Upcoming SUV launches from Tata Motors in 2021
Having launched the three-row Tata Safari earlier this year, Tata Motors will introduce its first micro-SUV sometime later this year. This new model is currently known by its internal codename HBX and will sit below the Nexon in the brand's SUV line-up.
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