Volkswagen Awarded Innovation Prize

Frankfurt/wolfsburg, 14 September 2004- Volkswagen will receive an innovation prize at Automechanika 2004. The company is being awarded in the “Accessories & Tuning” category for its prototype voice-controlled owners manual. This was announced by the expert jury ahead of the trade fair. The “Innovation Award” is presented in the four categories “Parts & Components”, “Systems & Modules”, “Accessories & Tuning” and “Repair & Automotive Services”.

Volkswagen’s voice-controlled owners manual allows drivers to simply say their questions on the vehicle out loud. They then receive information in pictures and sound without having to leaf or search through the handbook.This has been achieved using a combination of voice recognition, telecommunications and Internet technology.Using voice-recognition software, the driver’s instructions are analysed and forwarded via a mobile phone to a central computer where the complete vehicle literature is stored.The requested information is filtered there, sent to the vehicle and played back over speakers. Explanatory pictures are also displayed.The data transfer only takes a few seconds.

In addition to a standard hands-free system, all you need is an MDA/PDA (Mobile Digital Assistant/Personal Digital Assistant) with integrated telephone or a compatible smart phone to display the graphical information.Using the chassis number, the system can identify the vehicle and will know what equipment has been fitted in the car when providing answers.The voice-controlled operating manual is also updated whenever the vehicle configuration is changed.

The system is a further development of the interactive owners manual supplied by Volkswagen since 1997 that provides demonstrations of brand vehicles on your home PC using multimedia tools. The interactive owners manual on CD-ROM has already won numerous prizes (2004: Grand Award at WorldMediaFestival, also two “intermedia-globe Award Golds” for the Touareg and Golf CD-ROM; 2003: Silberner OttoCar at the AutoVision film festival staged as part of the IAA).

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