Cerence‘s conversational AI technology is going to get one of its highest-profile integrations yet, with the company announcing that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will use it in its first fully electric vehicle, the Fiat 500.
Drivers will be able to engage the AI assistant with the simple voice command “Hey Fiat”. They perform a number of queries and actions with the system including asking for directions, adjusting climate controls, sending phone messages, and more.
Voice recognition will enable the AI assistant to identify and respond to different vehicle passengers independently. The system also features “barge-in” capabilities allowing the end user to interrupt the AI assistant to clarify something or get more information.
Cerence’s automotive-focused AI assistant technology has been integrated into a growing number of electric vehicles in recent months, with China-based XPeng, Beijing Electric Vehicle, and NIO among its clients. But the Fiat integration will bring its tech to an electric car from a widely recognized, international brand, further raising Cerence’s profile after this month’s earlier news that Mercedes will stick with Cerence’s technology for the second generation of its own in-car assistant platform.
“The Fiat 500 is an iconic car that has always symbolized optimism and freedom,” commented Cerence CEO Sanjay Dhawan. “The new electric Fiat 500 perfectly encapsulates Fiat’s heritage while also bringing it to the next generation, where drivers expect simple, natural interaction with their technology.”
The news comes after Dhawan proclaimed a hugely successful fiscal year for the company last month in Cerence’s first Q4 update as a standalone company since its spinoff from Nuance Communications in 2019. The company’s revenues increased to $329.6 million, from $303.3 million when it operated as a division of Nuance.