Connected Voice Assistants in Two Thirds of New Passenger Cars by 2023: Futuresource Consulting

A new generation of connected voice assistants offering cloud processing (either hybrid or pure cloud) are now poised for rapid adoption. By 2023, almost two in every three new passenger cars will incorporate the technology, up from less than 30% last year, according to a new automotive audio report from Futuresource Consulting.

Voice assistants are enjoying widespread adoption within smart devices, personal electronics and speakers, but their usage in-car has garnered relatively little attention. Push-to-talk voice solutions have been integrated into cars since the 1980s, but have been typically based on on-board processing with a relatively limited range of commands. However, the landscape is shifting.


“The automotive sector is a natural home for connected voice assistants,” says Mike Fisher, Associate Director at Futuresource Consulting. “They allow simple, hands-free access to information and vehicle functions in an environment that demands attention on a larger task. Yet, with lifecycles of ten years or more, plus design cycles of two years, vehicle manufacturers have been at odds with leading-edge CE innovations. Beyond Bluetooth, in-car connectivity has traditionally been poor, limiting the practical use cases. All this is about to change, as the widespread consumer appeal of voice assistants, combined with the rise of the connected car and new technology innovation, is sowing the seeds of opportunity.”

Going forward, connected voice assistants will play a key role in the cockpit, ushering in a new range of value-added opportunities, including car service offerings, location-based services and e-commerce.

Voice assistants are beginning to develop beyond simple command and control mechanisms, transforming into platforms with advanced conversational ability and intelligent anticipation. Ultimately, voice-enabled products will be able to interject in conversations and deliver new monetization opportunities for service providers beyond harvesting data on usage behaviors. From a proactive reminder about booking the annual service at an approved service center, to locating a suitable parking spot through a smart parking app as it enters a city, the potential use cases are widespread.

Hybrid solutions – those that combine both processing locally on chip and in the cloud – will come to the fore as technical innovation in semiconductors allow for much greater on-chip processing, leading to enhanced conversational ability. These hybrid solutions will combine the security, speed and stability of on-board processing with the near-infinite usage possibilities of cloud solutions, with low-latency, high performance 5G mobile networks likely to become the backbone for connectivity.

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