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Speaking About the ABCs
of the Connected Car

Nuance Automotive Newsletter               March, 2013

A Note from the Editor:

As we welcome a new season and anticipate the promise of summer, we have some exciting updates to share with you. First and foremost, we’re pleased to announce Nuance’s support for the “Get Home Safe” program – a collaborative project to promote safe information access and communication while driving. This issue also includes more details about the Nuance Auto Forum Europe 2013 so you can make plans to attend this popular annual event. On the product side, we've  included some timely updates for Vocalizer Expressive and VoCon Hybrid. As always, enjoy the newsletter and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any additional information on a particular topic.

Fatima Vital,

In the Spotlight:
Nuance Helps Drivers “Get Home Safe”
Nuance along with Daimler, IBM, DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) and KTH (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) are working together in a European Union Framework 7 project to ensure our customers “Get Home Safe”. The objectives of “Get Home Safe” are to develop a multi-modal dialog system in the English, German and Czech languages for safe information access and communication while driving . In addition to the dialog system, the project also supports development of the OpenDS driving simulator which is hoped to become the new standard to measure driver distraction and the safety of new in-car technologies.   Several automotive Tier 1’s and OEMs worldwide have already expressed interest in the results of this project and Nuance is using the OpenDS driving simulator for usability studies of our flagship Dragon Drive product. The specific technical aspects supported by Nuance are the dialog components, VoCon Hybrid including our a1M technology and embedded natural language models for news search, hotel booking, “roadwatch” and social networks in English, German and Czech. For further information refer to the project or OpenDS website or contact the Nuance project manager: Lewis Mowatt
Get Home Safe  website
Open DS driving simulator website


Meet Us at These Upcoming Events

Nuance Automotive Forum Europe 2013
June 3 – 6, Augsburg, Germany.

VoCon Hyrbrid Training
April 9-10, Merelbeke, Belgium
June 4-5, Montreal, Canada 

The VoCon Hybrid developer training course is a fast-track introduction to the key features of the VoCon Hybrid API and Software Development Kit tools. This 2-day course is hosted by an expert developer from Nuance. Dedicated on-site courses can also be arranged through Nuance Professional Services. Contact your Nuance representative or Andreas Haag for more information.

Save the Date – Nuance Automotive Forum Europe 2013

We hope to see you at the Nuance Automotive Forum Europe 2013 on June 4 in Augsburg, Germany! To help you experience the Forum content more dynamically, the 2013 conference will feature a new format with more interactive discussions and small group sessions. This year, we’ll focus on the user experience in the connected car and on such topics as digital personal assistants, automotive content and applications and multimodal HMI. Key topics covered during the Automotive Forum will include:
• New Dragon Drive domains and connected services
• Deploying Dragon Drive and getting the right content for automotive services
• Personal assistant in the car
• Expressive text-to-speech and use cases for TTS in the connected car
• Automotive HMI solutions for the Chinese market
• Nuance Living Room and connected mobile solutions

Invitations were sent on March 4th and you can also find more information about the forum at this link or by sending an email to Alexander Davydov. Please mark the date on your calendar and stay tuned for more updates as we finalize the agenda in the coming months.

New and Notable:

Vocalizer Expressive 1.1.1
In the prior newsletter, we introduced you to Vocalizer Expressive, our latest text-to-speech solution with enhanced expressivity, and are now pleased to announce a new version release. Vocalizer Expressive 1.1.1 (planned for March 15th) will deliver improved quality for the Ava U.S. English voice including Mexican Spanish acoustic multilingual extensions and morphosyntax. In addition, the new Mandarin Chinese voice model “Embedded Pro” will be available to deliver highly improved quality for Chinese embedded TTS. Vocalizer Expressive will also feature Indian English by the end of March. This will be the 43rd language and the 72nd voice, with more to come.  Read more and listen to a voice sample on the Vocalizer Expressive web page.

Vocalizer Expressive Studio Joins the Vocalizer Expressive Family
Nuance Vocalizer Expressive Studio is an integrated and modular tools suite for the Nuance Vocalizer product family. The tools suite supports prompt tuning functionality through the PromptSculptor plug-in and the creation of user dictionaries through the User Dictionary Editor plug-in. Also supported are the creation of recorded prompt databases,  interactive creation of regular expression text processing rules and additional features for dictionary creation. We highly recommend Vocalizer Expressive studio to prototype and optimize your speech output applications with optimal results!

VoCon Hybrid 4.4 F1; 4.5 Update
As you know, VoCon Hybrid is is a unique combined SDK for embedded and connected speech recognition applications. Now, VoCon Hybrid v4.4F1 has been released with several notable improvements. Besides several bug fixes, this version includes the codebase support to enable the Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor. The runtimes for the same version are also available as standard ports for Linux (x86 and ARM), Android and iOS. The next release of VoCon Hybrid v4.5 is scheduled for the end of April and will incorporate new functionalities, so stay tuned for another update coming soon.

VoCon Speech Signal Enhancement (SSE)
VoCon SSE is a suite of signal enhancement technologies that improves the quality of hands-free telephony and speech recognition applications in cars. Barge-in and talk-over capabilities allow for more natural user interactions without compromising speech recognition. High quality noise reduction is achieved through a full duplex echo canceller and beamforming and post-filtering improve the microphone signal for better speech recognition performance. You can learn more about the SSE features and functionality at the upcoming Nuance training session. Contact Andreas Haag to enroll or for more details. Or visit the Nuance web page for more product information.

Ford Spotify Voice Control
Ford recently created a voice-activated music service with Spotify, powered by Nuance, so drivers will be able to change playlists, create stations and add variety to Spotify by using voice commands. Plans are underway to integrate the world’s largest music subscription service into Ford’s voice control technology for European drivers. The Ford EcoSport, which boasts Spotify voice control and a host of other futuristic features, is already on sale in South America and will go on sale in Europe in late 2013. Read more in the following article and Ford press release:
The New Car Radio? Spotify and Ford Hook Up To Launch Voice-Activated Music Streaming
Forbes – February 25, 2013
Ford Is First to Launch Spotify in the Car
Press Release - February 25, 2013




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