The battle for voice recognition inside vehicles is heating up

Once a fringe feature found only in luxury vehicles, voice recognition has moved into the mainstream as more automakers promise a seamless connection between your car, home and all the devices in between. The opportunity to reach consumers in their vehicles — and collect all that data — has automakers, tech giants like Amazon and Google, as well as investors scrambling for a share of the connected cars market.

But this is just the beginning. Voice recognition is expected to be an essential feature in future autonomous vehicles, which will see drivers ultimately surrendering the ability to control the car mechanically. Other applications for voice recognition are also emerging, including automated drones, two-wheelers and even air taxis.

Voice recognition is expected to be an essential feature in future autonomous vehicles, which will see drivers ultimately surrendering the ability to control the car mechanically.

The upshot? A market with significant growth potential and opportunities for investors and companies of all sizes.

The opportunity

The share of cars featuring in-car connected services, which voice recognition requires, grew to 45% in 2020 from 30% in 2018, and is expected to reach 60% by 2024, according to IHS Markit. Automakers keen to improve the consumer experience are driving that growth, said Kyle Davis, IHS Markit’s senior analyst for vehicle experience and connected car, noting that “one of the biggest aspects of the user experience is voice.”

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