Toyota Announces Intelligent Assistant for bZ4X
There’s no shame in talking to your vehicle, even if you’re the only one in the cabin. Totally normal. So what if your window is rolled down and you’re stopped at a red light. The person beside you doesn’t have to look at you like that. We at Landers Toyota of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers understand and won’t judge either way; however, we will offer you a way out of the possible social embarrassment. Toyota has created a new Intelligent Assistant, one that is voice-activated. From changing your navigation to include a coffee stop to telling you a joke, the new Intelligent Assistant works as a speech recognition system. Let’s discuss what to expect from this new system.
The new Intelligent Assistant actually comes from the independent software and innovation company Toyota Connected. The full press release includes commentary from the company’s product owner Ryan Oehler. The Intelligent Assistant (IA) is part of a Drive Connect system that also includes Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. The IA works in partnership with the Voice Assistant takes already comes with the infotainment system, but the IA is constantly learning. This self-improvement relies on the automatic speech recognition that activates once the talk button is activated. Once activated, the speech understood is transcribed into both the vehicle’s personal computer and the cloud.
Oehler explains it further. “It’s doing things like looking at the waveforms of the audio, and it’s actually able to understand, phonetically, what that translates to and formulate transcriptions based on that audio input.”
The system will recognize commands in English, Spanish, and French. With its learning abilities, the IA system created to parse through accents, dialects, pitches, tones, and more will continue to grow to be owner specific. It’ll know the general command factor, like temperature or navigation, and then will recognize the more specific command, such as “turn on the air” or “directions to the nearest coffee shop.” Oehler refers to it as “Toyota Connected magic” as your vehicle’s computer works with the cloud to provide you with the quickest response. The more it learns, the faster its response time. The IA is currently being included in vehicles in North America, so the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico.
Beyond temperature control and navigation help, the IA system also has available jokes for car rides. It is one of the newest additions to the system, so the press release doesn’t mention any examples of the IA’s “wry wit.” Guess we’ll have to see when it gets here.
You can opt out of the IA system, instead choosing to only use the Voice Assistant that comes with Toyota vehicles’ infotainment system.
One such vehicle that will include the new service is the 2023 Toyota bZ4X.
The 2023 bZ4X is an upcoming electric Toyota SUV with a starting price of $42,000. This includes an electric powertrain and front-wheel or all-wheel drive to create an impressive driving experience. Additional technologies that can be found in the cabin are a 12.3-inch touchscreen, seven-inch Multi-Information Display, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. The 2023 bZ4X is the first vehicle to be equipped with the newest safety sense package.
The 2023 bZ4X isn’t the only Toyota to be outfitted with an artificial intelligence system to make the drive more enjoyable. During a research project in 2021, Toyota Research Institute partnered with Standford University’s Dynamic Design Lab to create an autonomous Toyota Supra Race Car layered with safety advancements. These safety features relied on cameras and artificial intelligence computing.
That being said, the new assistant system is slightly different from the above research project. For one, the bZ4X and new Toyotas with the intelligent voice controls will be for commercial sale. The Intelligent Assistant is also focused more on helping the driver with hands-off features instead of providing extra safety features or allowing the car to drive on its own. Still a giant step in the right direction for Toyota vehicles! Keep up-to-date on Toyota’s Electric advancements.
We at Landers Toyota NWA can’t wait to test out the new voice control for ourselves. Let us know what you think of the new voice system in the comments!