Voice-Enabled Virtual Assistant Designed to Limit Driver Distraction by Providing a Platform for Connected Vehicle Services

Group of High Tech Providers Will Invite Automotive Manufactures to Test Drive New Connected Solution

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Jan. 9, 2012

DALLAS , Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A passenger who doesn't hesitate giving directions or providing weather updates is headed to a connected car near you, and this one won 't slow the trip down by asking for a rest stop.

AT&T* today, within the Peachtree “Connected” City, GA collaboration framework with Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America along with QNX Software Systems Limited, announced plans to begin developing a connected, voice-enabled virtual assistant for use by automotive manufacturers. The technology will be backed by AT&T's patented WATSON(SM) speech engine, providing a complete cloud based voice-enabled natural language mobile virtual assistant solution for wirelessly connected vehicles.

AT&T WATSON(SM) is a multimodal and multilingual speech and language engine with best-in-class performance across a wide range of applications. The engine's flexible plug-in architecture enables quick-time-to-market innovations. AT&T has more than 500 speech-related patents that can process speech, text and gesture inputs for things such as placing and receiving calls, navigation and basic web browsing.

Wireless innovations in the automotive space continue to expand and this is great news for consumers,” said Glenn Lurie , president of emerging devices, resale and partnerships, AT&T. “By rolling out this prototype,  we're able to collaborate with companies and manufacturers to develop safer driving environments for customers.”

A prototype is being developed that will demonstrate a connectivity strategy for automotive virtual assistance. The prototype will be used to develop a complete voice enabled mobile virtual assistant solution for the connected vehicles platform that is designed to limit driver distraction by focusing on customer needs and system interface usability to improve safety and comfort.

“User experiences that are natural and intuitive, that simplify access to mobile and cloud-based services, and that help drivers stay focused are key to consumer adoption of tomorrow's connected vehicles,” said Derek Kuhn , vice president of sales and marketing, QNX Software Systems. “Cloud-based speech recognition provided by solutions like AT&T WATSON(SM) will help accelerate this adoption, by allowing users to interact with their vehicle in a natural way, using everyday language.”

AT&T and Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America formed a working agreement in 2011 to explore and test connectivity solutions for consumers and commuters. The collaboration provides a framework for the two industry leaders to jointly create customized products for global automotive manufacturers in North America .

Initial concept testing for in-car infotainment systems and emerging mobile devices interface is taking place now in the Peachtree City testing community. AT&T provides network services and Panasonic Automotive Systems Company supply the hardware and integration services.

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*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

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