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Microsoft wiggles into electric cars via its award-winning Azure AI voice assistant, exclusive to XPeng EVs

The new XPeng G9 voice assistant will be powered by Microsoft (image: XPeng)
The new XPeng G9 voice assistant will be powered by Microsoft (image: XPeng)
Microsoft has partnered with one of the most promising electric car makers, XPeng, to provide its Azure AI-powered voice that scored the highest of any in-car virtual assistant on the MOS voice quality scale. The new EV virtual butler of XPeng will use Microsoft's Azure cloud to offload the processing tasks from the cars' chipset and provide unsurpassed life-like voice command experience inside XPeng's electric cars.

Microsoft doesn't want to be left out of the E-mobility revolution, it seems, and will be providing its award-winning voice assistant inside the electric vehicles of one of the largest Chinese carmakers, XPeng. The up-and-coming brand already has presence in Europe, and will be expanding to more countries there in 2022. XPeng already announced the G9 - an electric SUV, built from the ground up with international markets in mind that will be compliant with all the necessary crash tests - and it is continuing its western-oriented strategy by partnering with companies like Microsoft. The Silicon Valley giant will leverage the deep neural network TTS (Text-to-Speech) component of its Azure AI cloud service to provide new life-like voice assistant experience inside current and future XPeng electric vehicles.

XPENG uses Microsoft Azure with caching and compression to deliver XPENG’s high-quality voice sampling rate of 24K Hz and quantization level of 16 bits, without overburdening the data network or the car’s own CPU. XPENG also worked with Microsoft to minimize ambiguity and to optimize accuracy in voice assistant speech. As a result, the new voice assistant function has achieved new levels of lifelike voice fidelity, functionality, and scenario-specific applicability. With these new capabilities, XPENG can deploy voice assistance in even more usage scenarios, making voice assistance an integral part of the intuitive driving experience.

The new Azure-processed voice will go to XPeng's virtual butler that can be tasked to do things around the car like roll down the windows or adjust the AC and infotainment systems while driving. Processing the voice commands via Microsoft's Azure AI offloads the car's processing power and achieves unparallelled life-like performance of the virtual butler. Microsoft's MOS scale for AI voice quality assessment gave it 4.49 points, the highest score of any in-vehicle AI voice assistant on this internationally recognized quality ranking. The upcoming XPeng G9 will be the first electric vehicle with Gigabit connectivity, and we can't wait to hear how it fares with Microsoft's new Azure-powered voice assistant inside.

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Daniel Zlatev
Daniel Zlatev - Tech Writer - 261 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
Wooed by tech since the industrial espionage of Apple computers and the times of pixelized Nintendos, Daniel went and opened a gaming club when personal computers and consoles were still an expensive rarity. Nowadays, fascination is not with specs and speed but rather the lifestyle that computers in our pocket, house, and car have shoehorned us in, from the infinite scroll and the privacy hazards to authenticating every bit and move of our existence.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 01 > Microsoft wiggles into electric cars via its award-winning Azure AI voice assistant, exclusive to XPeng EVs
Daniel Zlatev, 2022-01- 7 (Update: 2022-01- 7)