Toyota and Google Cloud expand next-generation in-vehicle voice AI systems » Dallas Innovates


Plano-based Toyota North America and California-based Google Cloud have expanded a partnership that combines AI-powered voice services from Google Cloud with next-generation multimedia audio systems from Lexus and Toyota.

It’s a system that puts audio control down to a simple voice command, with command processing in the car’s internal processors, not in the cloud.

Toyota said in a statement that customers can now experience the first results of the partnership in the latest generation Toyota Audio Multimedia and Lexus Interface infotainment systems, including 2023 models such as the Toyota Corolla family, Tundra, Sequoia and All-electric Lexus NX, RX, and RZ.

“Next step for on-board voice AI”

“Today’s announcement represents a refinement that comes with years of collaboration between Toyota and Google Cloud to perfect the way our technologies work with each other,” Steve Basra, Group Vice President, Connected Technologies , Toyota Motor North America, and CEO and President of Toyota Connected North. America, said in a statement. “We are excited to announce this next stage of in-vehicle voice AI development, as it will bring even more benefits to Toyota and Lexus drivers, including speed and ease of use.”

The partnership highlights the innovation in artificial intelligence and machine learning made available in the latest Toyota and Lexus infotainment systems. The strength of this new partnership is that Toyota’s next-generation system will no longer require an internet connection for natural speech functions.

Voice assistants are becoming more common in our daily lives, and consumers are increasingly expecting accurate and consistent voice interactions, Toyota said. However, the machine learning capabilities needed to deliver high-quality speech results have traditionally relied on a cloud connection, as natural language processing is complex and can require specialized computers.

The company said vehicles equipped with Toyota’s latest-generation Linux-based Audio Multimedia and Lexus Interface infotainment systems are already leveraging Google Cloud’s Speech-to-Text service to accurately perform automatic speech recognition for queries. in the vehicle.

Co-developed since 2018

Toyota’s voice assistant leverages technology from Google Cloud and has been co-developed by Toyota Motor North America Connected Technologies and Toyota Connected organizations since 2018.

The companies say that by expanding their collaboration, they aim to drive future innovation with the addition of Speech On-Device, a new Google Cloud AI product that equips embedded devices with the same powerful speech recognition and synthesis based on speech. AI than those available in the cloud. , regardless of internet connectivity, to future Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

No “dead zones” or tunnel abandonments

Future vehicle-native Speech On-Device will allow voice requests to be served directly by the vehicles multimedia system processors, without the need for internet connectivity, to power voice requests in select vehicles, Toyota said. This means that with voice interactions served locally rather than through the cloud, drivers won’t have to worry about a dead zone or tunnel affecting voice commands.

In a statement, the companies said Speech On-Device builds on innovations in Google Assistant and Google Pixel that allow full speech models – comparable in quality to those hosted in the cloud – to run locally on multiple devices. small devices at the edge with a fraction of the model size and computing requirements. They said the new product will enable Google Cloud customers to bring high-quality voice services to disconnected environments, providing new opportunities in a variety of uses, from cars to TVs and even kiosks.

“By working closely with Toyota to understand the requirements and capabilities of their in-vehicle devices, we were able to deliver server-like quality while using only a small fraction of the processing power to ensure the best experience possible. to drivers,” Umesh Vemuri, senior vice president, Global Strategic Customers & Industries, Google Cloud, said in a statement.

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