China, which is home to the world’s largest automotive market, is witnessing a long-drawn-out battle for ultimate supremacy in Voice Ai recognition systems. It is no mystery that China is the standard-bearer for bleeding-edge technology compared to any other place in the world.
iFlytek, a homegrown startup, is planning to install its proprietary voice technology in an additional 30% more vehicles this year compared to last year. US-based company Cerence is trying to attract automakers in China on the back of its global experience with different demographics and ethnicities. These two companies are at the moment neck to neck in competition with each having a share of 40% as calculated in 2020.
iFlytek’s in-car AI assistants will allow drivers to operate different things like music, and navigation, as well as control the air conditioning with their voices. As autonomous driving revs up, this technology is expected to expand further as features like voice-controlled parking and stopping are already possible.
iFlytek’s technology is already embedded in Changan Automobiles, the newer models like Changan Oshan Z6 feature an inbuilt microphone and start when the driver commands it to turn the engine on after registering and confirming the identity of the voice.
However, iFlytek faces challenges overseas where it has been blacklisted in the U.S. over concerns of human rights infringements. In this case, Cerence is the winner, controlling more than 50% of the market globally, and having a customer list that has Ford Motor, BMW, Toyota Motor, China’s SAIC Motor, as well as other Chinese electric vehicle companies.