Volvo and Microsoft announce voice activated control for your car

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Using the Microsoft band, Volvo drivers can now speak to their car!
Using the Microsoft band, Volvo drivers can now speak to their car!

It’s over 30 years since our TV screens first showed David Hasselhoff talking to his car KITT in the popular TV show Knight Rider. Now you too could talk to your car (if you really want to) thanks to a wearable-enabled voice control system from Microsoft and Volvo.

Using Microsoft Band 2, Volvo owners will be able to instruct their vehicles to perform a number of tasks including setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn

This is done using Volvo’s mobile app, Volvo on Call, and the connected wearable device. In November 2015, Volvo and Microsoft announced their high-profile collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. HoloLens is the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, which could be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter, explore and even buy their car. Now the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via the Microsoft Band 2.

This Microsoft wearable can be used to control a number of car functions
This Microsoft wearable can be used to control a number of car functions

Says Thomas Müller, Vice President Electrics/Electronics and E-Propulsion at Volvo Car Group.“Volvo is intent on making the car experience as easy and convenient as possible by utilising the latest technology in the most relevant and inspiring ways. With voice control, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with digital assistant functionalities.”

Adds Klas Bendrik, Senior Vice President and Group Chief Information Officer at Volvo Car Group:
“When innovating, we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. If a technology does not make a customer’s life easier, better, safer or more fun, we don’t use it. Let’s face it – who hasn’t dreamed of talking to their car via a wrist-worn wearable?”

Says Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of business development at Microsoft: “Our ongoing partnership with Volvo continues to bring ground-breaking technology to enhance the automotive experience. Together with Volvo, we’re just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity.”

The new possibility to connect to a Volvo with voice control through Microsoft Band 2 will be available for customers in Volvo on Call-enabled markets in spring 2016.

Chris Price