Nuance, Apple’s Siri personal assistants hit the road with BMW

“BMW’s new voice control system this week highlights the shift from GPS systems to full-blown personal assistants, as Apple (AAPL) and Nuance (NUAN) threaten Garmin (GRMN), Tom Tom and other established GPS firms,” Gillian Rich reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“BMW partnered with Nuance to add Dragon Drive technology to its 7 Series vehicles and some of its 3 Series. The voice control system will be available this summer,” Rich reports. “Dragon Drive syncs with a driver’s cellphone allowing him or her to listen, edit, and respond to text messages and emails. The system also features other voice control commands like calling a contact or finding directions to a specific address.”

Rich reports, “The personal assistant like features of Dragon Drive are similar to Apple’s Siri. (Nuance technology is generally assumed to be the basis for Siri.) In June Apple announced it would partner with Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota (TM) to add Siri accessibility to the cars with a push of a button on the steering wheel.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: To date, Apple is partnering with nine vehicle makers on ‘Eyes Free’ Siri integration: BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, and General Motors.

Related articles:
Harman CEO on Apple for Automotive: ‘Apple is a partner, not an adversary’ – June 13, 2012
Apple: We’ll take the in-vehicle GPS market now, thanks – June 12, 2012
Nine auto makers partner with Apple for ‘Eyes Free’ Siri integration – June 12, 2012
Apple patents wireless click wheel remote control for your vehicle’s steering wheel – May 16, 2012


  1. I’ve used Siri a couple of times on my iPhone 4S, but have it turned off by default. I think Siri is most unApple-like of all of Apple’s products. Siri acts more like a computerised, disjointed voice than a virtual assistant. Take dictation for example. Why do you have to complete your diction, press ‘done’ and only then do the words appear on screen. Totally unintuitive. You can’t track what you’re saying and you have to press the ‘done’ button which is robotic and non humanlike.

    Another thing is Siri can’t follow natural speech. You have to press the microphone button (or double depress the home button) to speak to it. When it takes forever to respond, you don’t know whether Siri is thinking of an answer or didn’t quite get what you say, so you repeat the question again. And then you find that Siri isn’t listening to the repeated question, so you have to press the microphone button again to restart the ‘conversation’.

    All too convoluted for me. I give Siri a solid ‘F’ for fail. A total failure.

    1. Wait, you bought an iPhone 4S? After you lambasted it on this website as being no upgrade to the iPhone 4, and only Apple suckers would spend money on the upgrade?

      1. When you speak to another human, and he is taking some time to respond, you don’t know whether he is thinking of the answer or if he didn’t understand your question. Same thing with Siri. When the lights go round, you’re not sure if you need to repeat the question or let Siri ‘think’. And so if the question is repeated, any human would give an answer relevant to that question, not ignore what you just said and not come up with an answer at all.

        1. subtle clue, BLN: SIRI is NOT human. And what kind of response would you get from a two year old? Siri is younger. Give her. him. it, them a break. I think you just want to have something to complain about. Right?

    2. I appreciate your remarks, but you do admit your experience with Siri was limited. Others have found in Siri a tool that extends their grasp just as effectively, according to their special needs, as the stone ax and flint arrowhead did for early humans trying to compete for food against colossal natural forces. Baby steps, BLN. Siri is growing up, and will show just what a big girl she is when iOS 6 is released later this year. And after you lease your next Mercedes, you’ll appreciate the dulcet tones of Minka Kelly directing you as you drive to the Tropicana Bar.

      1. Siri is good for tasks that are robotic oriented, like ‘wake me up at 6am’. Understanding natural speech and interpreting your needs is still a long way off. If so, Apple should not tout its ‘virtual assistant’ abilities on television ads because it’s simply not up to snuff. This is false marketing in many ways and over promises but under delivers which runs contrary to Apple’s motto of under promising and over delivering.

          1. I gave it an ‘F’ for me, in my experience. I’m sure your ‘E’ is justified. It’s just that dictation should show the words on screen as you say it and Siri should understand natural speech a little better. I’m not saying it won’t improve but to me Apple shouldn’t release beta software – that’s Microsoft & Google’s province.

            1. I believe the beta was necessary to provide Apple with data on the nature of Siri usage in the real world. There is a lot of work to get Siri to where it needs to be a really exceptional product. I think Apple has been using the data to set its priorities on continued development. That’s my theory at any rate.

        1. In my experience, Siri has worked great. It is beyond doing simple tasks.

          Siri works with scheduling and appointments, searching things online, and doing a variety of things better than me having to be tapping away on my screen. What makes it great is how Siri responds.

          If it is a failure as you say, then it wouldn’t be the coolest thing in the hands of pre-teens at my family get togethers.

          I however, am tired hearing al of the, “…its in BETA mode” excuses. It works as its intended to but some people don’t know how to make the best of it. Siri doesn’t fail, the users do.

    3. It’s too small, BLN! Sell it and get a big ass Android phone before your eyeballs implode. After all of that bellyaching and threats of doom regarding the iPhone 4 and 4S, I can’t believe that you actually bought one. Hypocrisy, thy name is BLN.

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