Will Voice Recognition Decrease On-Road Texting?

Oct 05, 2011
Yesterday’s announcement of the iPhone 4S by Apple introduced a revolutionary new voice recognition system coming to the iPhone, packaged with the digital personal assistant the electronics giant has dubbed Siri. The new technology understands speech in a more conversational form than ever before, eliminating the constant misunderstandings and limitations of traditional voice recognition software. Now it seems that automakers are trying to use the same kind of technology, both for safety and luxury.

"Smartphones have become a major part of people's lives; manufacturers are responding to that," said Kathy McMahon, senior manager of GM's infotainment group. "Infotainment systems are one of the top five reasons people cite for purchasing a new vehicle. It's a very big deal."

But when it comes to safety, voice recognition is very important to eliminate further distractions. Ford’s Sync system is fairly advanced (it is able to recognize 10,000 different commands), but new advances like Siri should make distractions even fewer and less severe. Imagine being able to hear and respond to messages simply by talking, or even filling out reports in mid-trip without ever taking your eyes off the road. The more advanced voice recognition technology becomes, the safer we can make vehicles in the age of distracted driving.

What do you think? Would you implement a voice-recognition system in your vehicles if it didn’t cost too much?

Photo courtesy of Yutaka Tsutano and re-used under the Creative Commons license.