New Mercedes-Benz App Reads News, is Siri-like

By Matthew Askari | October 14, 2013
Certain Mercedes-Benz models will soon be able to read the news to you as you drive. Built by Nuance Communications, an app called Dragon Drive has the ability to read articles from a number of different channels and outlets, allowing the driver to stay informed while keeping both hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road. "The Mercedes-Benz News App is yet another way our powerful voice capabilities are keeping drivers informed and connected without adding dangerous distractions," said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager, automotive, Nuance Mobile. "Nuance's expressive text-to-speech creates a more natural and personalized experience for consumers, while providing automakers like Mercedes with an incredible human-like voice that is well integrated with their brand experience." Once you listen to the app's "incredibly human-like" voice however, you might find—as we did—that the app still sounds fairly robotic. Nuance says the text-to-speech technology actually becomes more natural overtime however, as the technology adapts and learns to pronounce new words and phrases. For drivers anxious to begin their own personal "Knight Rider" experience, the app is currently available on Mercedes-Benz models equipped with COMAND Online in the U.S., with the rollout to continue across North America, Europe, and Asia in more than 20 languages.
Source: Nuance Communications