Honda plans to reveal its in-car virtual assistant at CES 2020

Honda plans to reveal its in-car virtual assistant at CES 2020 1
Forward-looking: It’s not just tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple that have their own AI-powered virtual assistants. Some carmakers are working on similar technology. Indeed, Honda says it plans to show the world an early glimpse of its own in-car AI helper at CES 2020 next year.

The helper will be appropriately known as the “Honda Personal Assistant,” and the carmaker is making some pretty bold claims about its future capabilities. For starters, Honda says the Personal Assistant will feature “unprecedented” speed and accuracy for voice recognition. Given how much more further along other virtual assistants, such as Siri or Alexa are, this is a bit tough to believe without seeing it in action.

Regardless, Honda says its Assistant will accomplish this lofty task through its implementation of the patented Speech-to-meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies, whatever those are.

In addition to fast, accurate response, Honda claims the Personal Assistant will be able to “understand context,” such as where the vehicle is, or previous requests, to better assist drivers. These ideas are hardly revolutionary in the smart assistant field, but perhaps Honda has implemented them in a surprising or unique way.

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Drivers will access the Honda Personal Assistant by saying “OK Honda,” which is a pretty standard wake word among other AI helpers. It’s unclear whether or not this wake word will be customizable.

Another in-the-works project expected to be revealed by Honda at CES is its “Smartphone as Brain” technology, which will allegedly provide a “safe and convenient way” for drivers to use their mobile devices while on the road.

Instead of directly interacting with your touch screen while cruising down the highway at 60 miles per hour — a risky proposition even on empty streets — Smartphone as Brain will let you use voice recognition, and various steering wheel (or handle, in the case of a motorcycle) switches to access different functions.

We’ll be reporting on Honda’s CES reveals, as well as announcements from plenty of other companies, when the event kicks off next month, so stay tuned for our coverage.

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