Consumers Relying on In-Car Navigation and Voice

Nuance Communications, Inc., a leading provider of speech solutions, today announced findings that show consumers will take advantage of automobile voice recognition capabilities if they’re built in. In fact, eight out of nine respondents who own speech-enabled in-car systems and navigation devices regularly use the voice recognition capabilities. The Automotive Voice Interface User Survey conducted by Maix Research and Consulting also revealed a high degree of satisfaction among 73 percent of users that will lead them to recommend the technology to friends and family, as well as plan to repurchase automobiles with speech-enabled functions in the future.

The study surveyed 473 auto owners with voice recognition systems and focused on the usability of current in-car voice recognition systems deployed in the market, including many popular systems such as the Ford SYNC ™
powered by Nuance speech technology. The research found that the majority of respondents favored voice-enabled systems for their ease of use and ability to reduce the driver distractions often posed by manual input systems. The study also discovered that:

  • Phone calls and navigation entry top voice-enabled functions: Among respondents who regularly use voice recognition systems, 83 perc ent always or frequently place calls and respectively 80 percent accept phone calls with voice commands. 76 percent regularly enter an address by voice.
  • Voice is the preferred interface versus manual in various driving scenarios: The majority of the respondents (about 75 percent) stated that they favor a speech-enabled interface while driving. In fact, the reliance on speech-enabled functions increased in particular situations. 50 percent of users like to use voice input when other passengers are in the car, with an 18 percent increase in usage (68 percent) when they are alone. 58 percent of users prefer voice input when driving in familiar areas, but that number jumps to 69 percent in unknown areas. 63 percent of users cited they prefer voice input in quiet or normal traffic, but the percentage jumps to 71 percent in stressful traffic situations.
  • Age plays a role in voice recognition reliance: Use of voice-enabled in-car systems was generally higher among younger drivers (age 18 – 29) drivers surveyed, however older drivers (ages 40 and over) were more apt to use voice recognition when driving in unknown areas or stressful traffic situations as noted above.
  • Users of voice-enabled systems want additional “connected” capabilities: The study found that those using voice recognition systems desire additional “connected” voice-enabled services. 43 percent advised that they would like up-to-date traffic information by voice, with 40 percent wanting weather information and 37 percent local business search.
  • More natural language dialogue increases user acceptance: As part of the survey, users were asked to cite improvements that would increase their overall use of voice recognition systems. Among the responses was a desire to spend less time conversing and confirming with the systems, leading to easier and increased usage.

“The results of this study complement additional market data that more and more drivers are becoming not only familiar, but reliant on voice-enabled in-car systems and navigation devices,” said Arnd Weil, General Manager and Vice President, automotive solutions, Nuance Mobile. “Voice recognition technology has tremendous benefits when applied to in-car infotainment systems and navigation devices, particularly in reducing driver distractions and in some cases stress as demonstrated in this study. And the technology is only improving to become even more intuitive and natural, as Nuance is dedicated to providing consumers with solutions that enable a comfortable dialogue with their cars.”

This Maix Research study focused on usability complements the findings from Nuance’s 2008 In-Car Distraction Study conducted by the University of Braunschweig in Germany, which found in-car voice recognition systems significantly reduce driver distractions as compared to manual input of navigation, telematics and entertainment systems. The analysis of drivers’ eye movements revealed that voice commands help drivers keep their eyes on the road, reducing driver distraction to almost zero for music selection and less than 10 percent for phone dialing and destination entry. On average, speech helps keep drivers eyes on the road 200 percent to 300 percent better than manual input.
Tags:  GPS, navigation