Software Defined IVI – The Best Second Space on the Road
Software Defined IVI – The Best Second Space on the Road5 minutes
One core tenant of customer service is facilitating an experience that makes the customer feel as though their personal needs and preferences are understood and addressed. As technology progresses and more solutions offer more seamless and personalized services through connection to the cloud, customers are fostering higher expectations for what’s possible. The good news is, through connectivity, there are increasingly more touchpoints to make customers feel truly at the center of their experiences.
As consumers ask for more, we’re responding with new solutions and leveraging advances from one area of expertise to another. Our aim is to help people everywhere move life forward, no matter where they are, what they are doing or who they are with. This compelled Panasonic Automotive to form a relationship with Amazon in 2018, with the aim to enhance our IVI products with our end customers preferred technology partner.
Together, we’re developing what’s next:
Redefining hybrid in the automotive space
Today, robust AI assistants require cloud computing to process user requests. One challenge to better voice assistance on the move is matching control network availability at home, where optimizing this tech is easier. When in transit, certain factors such as instances of no-signal zones can disrupt service. At home, networks are more reliable. This challenge became a central one in our work with Amazon.
Through this partnership, we’re working to develop hybrid speech recognition solutions that avoid current cell-network limitations. This important development makes it possible for features – even low latency ones – to operate whether on or off network, delivering critical features without interruption. We’ve made this possible by building Amazon’s hybrid speech recognition technology directly into our industry-leading in-cockpit domain controller.
The obvious benefit is a more seamless experience – no matter where consumers travel. There is another added layer of continuity, as well. Customers get the added functionality via a familiar voice: Amazon’s Alexa. Just as she streamlines communication, serves up entertainment or provides news updates at home, she’s helping make life more efficient and enjoyable in the car. But we can use that same technology to enhance an automaker's in vehicle experience as well.
Building a branded experience for automakers
As OEMs strive to create meaningful differentiation within their product lines and against competitors, bespoke experiences take on greater value. At Panasonic, we see IVI as an important frontier to help industry customers continually deliver unexpected moments of satisfaction. To that end, we’re leveraging Amazon’s Custom Assistant, that can be branded with a unique voice, name (or Wake word) and feature set to enhance an OEM’s brand. This customizable AI assistant gives manufacturers the ability to incorporate the Alexa tech stack for a unique branded experience.
Panasonic is integrating this and other Amazon technologies into our SkipGen 3.0 IVI, which is paired with the next-generation SPYDR 3.0 cockpit domain controller. This integration delivers tailored features, specific “wake words,” access to AWS, subscription music and video content, and more. To users, it’s advanced functionality with a reduced learning curve, delivered through the lens of an automaker’s brand aesthetic. It’s another element that supports consumers’ purchase decisions, enhances product satisfaction, and develops deeper loyalty.
Getting to know you
Think for a second about how much we rely on others to understand our intended language based on context, personal familiarity and general language knowledge. If you’re a passenger in a car and say, “it’s getting cold in here,” the driver understands the implication. To bridge this gap, Amazon’s Alexa platform incorporates a function known as teachable AI: It asks clarifying questions in response to user utterances. In the example above, the system may ask, “would you like me to increase the temperature by 5 degrees?” Based on your answer, Alexa learns and remembers for the next time.
This learning supports predictive modeling. This allows Panasonic engineers to enhance the experience in unseen ways such as checking for and improving cabin air quality using our nanoeTM X technology.
Expanding audio expectations
With so much expanded functionality, it might be easy to overlook a core element of great IVI – the audio experience. As with connectivity, Panasonic is looking to replicate the home audio experience in an automotive setting. Audio delivered through a home system is coded for the multitude of speakers available. But, if you’re streaming audio from your phone, the signal is likely not able to leverage the dozen or more speakers many cars have today. By incorporating technology like Dolby Atmos, or Sony 360 Reality Audio / MPEG-H music and home theater-like apps into the IVI, consumers have more options and access to much richer experiences. This is just one of the benefits of a multi-layered ecosystem such as Panasonic’s, with access to leading industry partners and the know-how to make beautiful music together.
Up next: zoning in
The innovations we’re creating with Amazon and other partners allows us to re-imagine how people share common spaces, but with personalized audio experiences. Panasonic is developing sound bubbles for automotive cabins where zoned audio is heard only by the intended user – and not the other passengers. For instance, step-by-step voice route guidance might be detectible only to the driver, while passengers can each hear their own music or podcast – all without the use of headphones for a more “separate but present” feeling.
To learn more about how Panasonic Automotive is reimagining the automotive experience, visit our website.