I recently had the opportunity to watch the 2019 American sports drama, "Ford v Ferrari." In case you missed it, the film follows American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles as they battled the laws of physics to build a first-of-its-kind race car for Ford.
Set in the mid-1960s, it tells the story of how Shelby and Miles were dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca to build the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to defeat the world-renowned Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Prior to this effort, Ferrari had won every one of these races from 1960 to 1965. However, the GT40 finally broke Ferrari's streak in 1966 and went on to win the next three annual races.
This exciting film made me think forward forty years from the movie’s setting to 2005 when Ford released its Ford GT to celebrate the automaker’s 2003 centenary. This vehicle, inspired by the Ford GT40, brought the racing experience into a street-legal package. In a similar vein, the release of Cerence ARK Assistant in U.S. English earlier this week brings Cerence’s expertise in a ready-to-deploy package for automakers.
Cerence ARK Assistant is a new product that enables automakers to integrate a fully localized automotive voice assistants into the head unit, with speed and precision. The solution packages up the best of Cerence’s AI-powered voice assistant features and offers them in a flexible environment that requires minimal development and deployment time.
As in-car voice experiences grow in popularity, they are more important than ever for automotive manufacturers—and are no longer exclusive to higher-end car models. A recent report from Voicebot.ai shows that voice assistance usage in the car is on the rise, with about one-third of drivers converting to monthly users of these services over the past 15 months. And as drivers increasingly look to their car’s technology to enhance their safety on the road and navigate stressful driving situations, automotive companies must quickly deploy advanced voice- and AI-based assistants across their models to remain competitive and meet the demand. Cerence ARK Assistant can help them do this.
Like the Ford GT, Cerence ARK Assistant makes the latest in-car voice assistant services available for every automaker and, as a result, more mainstream consumers. It fulfills this special need in the market by combining decades of innovation and experience from the Cerence platform into a ready-to-go assistant for mainstream vehicles and speeding time to market by 50 percent or more.
Automakers: as you work toward your own far-reaching goals, whatever they are, know that we’re here to help along the way. And so, I pose this final question to you: What is your equivalent to the “24 Hours of Le Mans race?”