Quality Progress - November 2014 - (Page 12)

KEEPINGCURRE AUTOMOTIVE Hearing Voices? A Voice-recognition systems still aren't clear for automakers Automakers may be listening to the voice problems aren't easily fixed, and drivers of the customer, but the Siri, Bluetooth and often must learn to live with the systems man," said Arnd Weil, vice president of other voice-recognition systems installed in and find workarounds. Nuance Automotive, a provider of voice sys- their vehicles might not understand what the customers are actually saying. In recent years, more vehicles have "Voice recognition and device connectiv- "You talk like you would talk to a hu- tems to major automakers including Ford, ity are often inherent to the technology de- General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. sign and cannot be fixed at the dealership, "You say, 'Navigate to my office,' and the been equipped with built-in voice system figures it out."8 recognition and activation systems, Automakers are hurrying to correct mostly because drivers want the same this technology and make it reliable, convenience that the voice command knowing if they can fix the problems, technology provides by their smart- buyers will pay a premium for these phones. Almost one in four U.S. drivers conveniences. By 2020, it's estimated said they use these voice recognition that 68 million vehicles worldwide will systems in their cars daily, and 53% have voice controls, up 84% from 37 said they access one at least once a million in 2014, according to research week, up from 47% two years ago, from HIS Automotive.9 according to a survey from Strategy Consumers won't pay a lot for the Analytics, a research firm.1 technology, especially if there are The performance of the voice- doubts the systems work, according to recognition systems in vehicles falls the J.D. Power report. The report said short of customer expectations in many creating a high level of angst among new- 70% of new-vehicle owners indicate interest cases, however. vehicle owners," said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, in built-in voice recognition, but when given executive director of global automotive at a cost of $500 for this technology, purchase J.D. Power.5 intent drops to 44%.10 According to the recent J.D. Power 2014 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, To bypass the systems, drivers can use VanNieuwkuyk suggested automakers lems with wind noise as the problem most knobs and controls on the steering wheel "really need to go back to the basics and frequently cited by new vehicle owners.2 or dashboard, but this still contributes to design these systems so drivers can keep Other issues consumers cited most dissatisfaction. "Manufacturers have good their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the often are that the systems don't recognize intentions, but ultimately their efforts yield road and their mind on the drive."11 or read verbal commands (63%), don't rec- poor results," VanNieuwkuyk said.6 built-in voice recognition surpassed prob- ognize names and words (44%), and don't recognize numbers (31%).3 Trying to improve Distracted drivers Regardless of whether this voice technol- Can you say, "Disappointing"? Manufacturers say they are boosting the ogy keeps driver eyes focused on the road "You've got this highly engineered, sonic quality of microphones and ex- and hands clasped on the wheel, safety wonderfully operating, super comfortable, perimenting with their placement in the concerns do remain. great-looking car whose voice commands vehicles' interiors. Vocabularies are being don't work well," said Jack Nerad, senior expanded beyond the latest systems' 2 mil- voice-activation system can create serious analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "That can spoil lion words. For some brands, natural speech distractions and safety risks when drivers the whole experience-to the point of mak- recognition systems also are being incorpo- use the technologies to navigate, send and ing the car unsalable."4 rated to interpret conversational language receive text messages, and use Facebook and recognize and act on key words.7 or Twitter. Adding to the frustration is that these 12 QP * www.qualityprogress.com Another recent study suggested any http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - November 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Finding Harmony
Multipronged Approach
Bank on It
The System Is the Solution
Innovation Imperative
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea

Quality Progress - November 2014

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