Cerence is deepening its relationship with the Chinese carmaker NIO. NIO specializes in the creation of electric vehicles, and will be featuring Cerence’s conversational voice technology in a new SUV for the Norwegian market.
The ES8 full-size SUV is being released to extend NIO’s reach in the Scandinavian country. Cerence’s Automotive Platform will be integrated into the ES8’s infotainment system when it arrives. The Platform has natural language understanding and text-to-speech capabilities, all of which will allow it to serve as a comprehensive voice assistant for the person behind the wheel. For example, drivers can use the assistant to issue simple commands and safely control elements like the radio and the navigation system while on the road.
The Cerence Automotive Platform was built to be a turnkey solution, which is to say that carmakers can deploy it without a lengthy development period. While the Platform will access some features through the cloud, it also supports on-board speech recognition to ensure stable voice performance in areas with poor wireless connectivity.
“NIO is a pioneer and a game changer at the forefront of the future of electric vehicles, transforming the innovation landscape in today’s automotive industry in China and worldwide,” said Cerence SVP and Mobility Solutions GM Charles Kuai. “We’re proud to partner with NIO in developing a digital companion that supports and excites their drivers with an intuitive, intelligent, future-forward assistant experience.”
Cerence first partnered with NIO back in October of 2020, roughly a year after it released an AI Reference Kit (ARK) for the Chinese market. The company has now provided voice assistant technology for several leading Chinese auto makers, including Great Wall Motors, the Geely Auto Group, Xpeng, and Beijing Electric Vehicle. Like NIO, Beijing Electric Vehicle and XPeng are electric vehicle makers that showcased Cerence’s voice technology in electric SUVs.