The entire digital world nowadays is on standby for voice commands, there’s Apple’s “Hey Siri,” and Amazon’s “Alexa”, as well as Google’s “Hey Google,” and the list goes on. Just about every device that you carry, wear and keep in your house can be activated by voice command.
It’s certainly a big help when you want to find out quick bits of information in a flash without having to open your phone or laptop to do a Google search. They’re also handy for building quick lists, playing music and more. Did you also know that you’ll be able to use the voice commands of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant to gain information from your Pedal® dashboard? That’s what today’s blog is all about.
This feature --- one among 20 unique features in the Pedal package --- is known simply as the Voice Services feature. If you thought that the Pedal dashboard and upcoming smartphone app made accessing your car’s information easy and convenient, then you only know half the story. Below, we’ll explore how it works, and why it’s such a useful feature within the Pedal architecture.
Pedal® - Voice Services Feature
How Does “Voice Services” Work in Pedal®?
The system is remarkably system. Once Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant have access to your Pedal account, all you have to do is activate whichever system you have with their activation phrase, and then use the command, “Ask Pedal…” to learn just about anything you need from your dashboard. Here are some things you might ask:
- Alexa, ask Pedal “where is my car’s current location?”
- Hey Google, ask Pedal “when is my MOT test due?”
- Alexa, ask Pedal “when will my insurance expire?”
- Hey Google, ask Pedal “when is my road Tax is due?”
You get the idea. It’s as simple as finding the right question to get the specific information you need. If Pedal has it on the dashboard, then you can find it via voice command to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Why is “Voice Services” Such a Useful Feature?
Convenience: No Logging in Required
The chief utility in Voice Services is the convenience of being able to draw out single nuggets of information from your Pedal® dashboard without having to login to your system or check the imminent smartphone app, either. Pedal helps you save a lot of time anyway by putting all of your car’s information in one place. In fact, it can put all the details of all the cars in your household into one single online place. Adding the benefit of the Voice Services feature just allows another degree of time saving.
Great in Urgent Situations
The added benefit to the convenience, therefore, is that you can access key information about your car when you are in a rush or when you otherwise quickly need to learn something. If you hear from your teenage son or daughter that the car has broken down, you can learn the car’s exact location with a single question to Alexa or Google Assistant. Have the device send you that location to your smartphone and you’re on your way to help.
Similarly, if you return home to find the car is missing then you will quickly be able to locate it and learn any other key information about where it has been and how it was driven to get there. Perhaps someone in the family took the car without your permission, or maybe it was unfortunately stolen. A quick question to your voice recognition device can feed you the information you need exactly when you need it.
Enhancing Your Voice Recognition Devices
Finally, the Pedal Voice Services feature helps to add a whole new dimension to those devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s just one more thing you can ask them about and get quick answers. Before Pedal®, your Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa won’t have known such things about your vehicle, certainly not all the amazing things that Pedal® and its 20 unique features can offer.
Car Voice Service Technology – An Evolution
The very first voice recognition system was built in the early 1950s and was given the rather charming name of “Audrey.” Ground-breaking as Audrey was back in 1952, she would never have been able to understand a command like “Ask Pedal.” All Audrey could do was recognize digits when spoken by a single voice. The technology had a long way to go before it made it into cars.
The first mass-produced car to feature voice command technology bearing any resemblance to how we know it now was the 2005 Honda Acura. Back then there was no “Hey Google” activation phrase. The driver pushed a wheel-mounted button to turn on the “listening mode” and then could input various voice commands for making phone calls, starting navigation, and getting information on weather, traffic and other things from the Acura-Link service.
In the following years, both Lexus and Ford came out with their own in-car voice command technology. The latter was launched as Sync and was developed by Ford in conjunction with Microsoft. It highlighted the need for a much simpler voice-based solution, since the first generation of Sync required you to use voice commands to navigate through a whole web of folder levels to get what you wanted. It was like trying to operate a PC purely with your voice.
The years after brought new attempts from more brands, some of which were often satirized in TV shows for their lack of ability to hear what you really said. The classic situation of asking to play the next track and the windscreen wipers activating was the prevailing image of this technology. That was until we finally got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both systems brought over their own brands of voice command give to them by their operating systems, and both were much more developed, reliable, and worked with more natural phrases instead of fixed commands that were pre-programmed into the system by the manufacturer.
Amazon Alexa soon came into the car as well, helping sync together your smartphone and home devices with your car more seamlessly. Voice commands inside your car are now as simple as connecting via your smart Apple, Android or Amazon device and then operating voice commands as you would normally. None of this is to say that manufacturers have given up in their pursuit of effective internal voice command technology. Top brands like Audi, BMW and others continue to run their own systems that work neatly in conjunction with external voice systems like Siri and OK Google.
Pedal - Keeping You Connected, Even Via Voice
Voice command technology has come a long way since the distant mid-20th century number-recognizing “Audrey” system. Even in cars, with Honda paving the way for its application, the technology has come on leaps and bounds. It’s now in a place where you can tie it together with two of the biggest voice-command service providers, Amazon and Google.
Remember, all you have to is to ask Alexa or Google to “Ask Pedal…” and you are on your way. You can take advantage of this and 19 other features on the Pedal system by purchasing and installing the Pedal OBD-II sensor today and then setting up your online dashboard. It couldn’t be easier. There’s so much you may never have known about your car and your driving habits. Now, all you have to do is “ask Pedal.” Sign up today.