Toyota and Google Cloud recently announced an extended partnership to update the features and functionality of the Toyota Voice Assistant. The next-generation, Linux-based Toyota and Lexus multimedia interface now feature Google Cloud’s Speech-On-Device. This AI-based speech service delivers natural-speech functions without requiring internet connectivity.
“This 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.
Toyota and luxury subsidiary Lexus started working with Google Cloud in 2018 to develop a voice assistant for the two brand’s infotainment systems. The Toyota Voice Assistant was co-developed with Google Cloud using the Speech-to-Text platform that utilizes innovations from Google Assistant and Google Pixel. The technology allows full-featured speech models to run locally on smaller devices with minimal computing requirements.
No Internet, No Problem
Google Cloud’s Speech-On-Device is a new product that gives smaller devices the same AI-driven speech services regardless of network connectivity. With this new product, voice requests are “served directly” within the multimedia system’s processors instead of relying on the cloud. It also means drivers need not worry about dead zones or areas with poor internet connectivity when executing voice commands while driving.
The updated Toyota audio multimedia system will arrive for 2023 models of the Toyota Corolla, Tundra, and Sequoia. Moreover, the new Lexus Interface infotainment system powered by Google Cloud’s Speech-On-Device service will debut in 2023 variants of the Lexus NX, RX, and battery-electric RZ crossover.