Toyota and Google Cloud partner on AI-powered speech services in Toyota and Lexus vehicles

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A partnership between Toyota and Google Cloud has been expanded to bring Google’s AI-based speech services to the next-generation audio multimedia systems in Toyota and Lexus-branded vehicles.

The AI-based speech services will be available on the latest Toyota Audio Multimedia and Lexus Interface infotainment systems found in the 2023 Toyota Corolla, Tundra and Sequoia line-ups, and in the Lexus NX, RX and all-electric RZ models.

Vehicles equipped with Toyota’s latest-generation automotive grade Linux-based Audio Multimedia and Lexus Interface infotainment systems already use Google Cloud’s Speech-to-Text service to perform automatic and accurate speech recognition for in-vehicle queries.

Since 2018, the voice assistant within Toyota vehicles – which uses Google Cloud technology – has been co-developed by the Toyota Motor North America Connected Technologies and Toyota Connected companies. The biggest takeaway from the newly expanded partnership, however, is that Toyota’s next-generation system will now not need an internet connection to conduct standard speech functions.

By expanding their collaboration, the duo seeks to drive future innovation with the addition of Speech On-Device, a new Google Cloud AI product which works by equipping embedded devices with the same AI-based speech recognition and synthesis available in the cloud, regardless of internet connectivity. This will be available in future Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

The Speech On-Device will enable voice requests to be carried out directly by a vehicle’s own multimedia system processors, negating the need for an internet connection to conduct voice queries. As a result, dead zones such as tunnels or areas of low signal will now not affect voice commands.

“Today’s announcement represents refinement that comes with years of collaboration between Toyota and Google Cloud to perfect how our technologies work with one another,” said Steve Basra, group vice president, Connected Technologies, Toyota Motor North America, and CEO and president of Toyota Connected North America. “We are excited to announce this next step in development for in-vehicle voice AI, as it will bring even more benefits to Toyota and Lexus drivers, including speed and ease of use.”

“By working closely with Toyota to understand its in-vehicle device requirements and capabilities, we were able to provide server-like quality while using only a small fraction of the processing power to ensure the best possible experience for drivers,” said Umesh Vemuri VP, Global Strategic Customers & Industries, Google Cloud.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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