The latest generation of the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system is entering series production with the 2009 S-Class. Instead of saying the town and street separately as before, drivers can speak the desired destination as a single command – for example “Stuttgart, Epplestraße”.
The system immediately begins to work out the route, only pausing to enquire whether a house number is to be entered as well. In Germany, LINGUATRONIC understands around 80,000 town names and 470,000 street names entered in this way. This new, particularly convenient destination input works in six languages and more than 15 European countries.
Mercedes engineers use the term “one-shot input” to describe the currently most advanced development stage of the system, where the town and street names can be spoken as a direct sequence.
German: Germany, Austria and Switzerland
English: Great Britain, Gibraltar and Ireland
French: France, Monaco, Belgium and Switzerland
Italian: Italy, San Marino, Vatican City and Switzerland
Dutch: Netherlands, Belgium
Mercedes: ” Voice-operated control is not just about understanding the driver’s wishes, but also about entering a dialogue with him. The system responds in a friendly voice if it has failed to understand something, for example, or if it wants the driver to confirm certain operating commands. While it would be perfectly possible to generate these voices synthetically – i.e. by computer – Mercedes-Benz holds a low opinion of such “lifeless” announcements, preferring a person-to-person dialogue for its voice-operated control system.
Mercedes-Benz and its system partners have contracted professional female speakers and one male speaker who lend their voices to the voice-operated control and navigation systems of Mercedes models. For each language, it takes three days to record the words, phrases, numerical sequences and names written on around 100 manuscript pages as the basis for the route guidance and voice operation dialogue.”