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Do you like your cars smart? Are you itching to drive something a bit more K.I.T.T. than KIA? Well, this summer the glory of your Hasselhoff-soaked, '80s dreams will become reality, thanks to the folks at Nuance. Utilizing the same natural-language voice software currently employed across select mobile phones and TV sets, the outfit's hatched a new platform, dubbed Dragon Drive!, specifically for connected autos. The hands-free tech will support six languages at launch, with more to come throughout the year, giving drivers the ability to dictate texts and emails, as well as manage multimedia and navigation without ever lifting a finger from the wheel. So far, the company hasn't outed any initial partners for the voice recognition service. But if you're in the market for a high-end vehicle and your very own virtual Synergy, rest assured, your needs are going to be met. Hit up the break for the official presser and video tour.

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Nuance Unveils Dragon Drive!; Powers More Intuitive, Intelligent Connected Car

Revolutionary Automotive Platform Combines Nuance's Dragon and Natural Language Understanding Technologies to Voice-Enable Message Dictation, Directed Content Search, Music, Navigation and More

Burlington, Mass. – May 22, 2012 – Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today unveiled Dragon Drive!, Nuance's new automotive-grade natural-language voice platform created and designed specifically for the connected car. Dragon Drive! enables automotive manufacturers and suppliers to deliver eyes-free, hands-free message dictation and direct access to content, music, and navigation – all powered by the same core technologies at the heart of Nuance's successful Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go!.

Consumers demand connectivity no matter where they are – fueling rapid growth of the connected car market and increased demand for voice-enabled in-car services.

According to IMS Research, the world market for connected cars will grow 650% to reach 40.5 million unit sales in 2017; and,
A recent JD Power 2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study on consumer demands for in-car technology, 69% of respondents want natural language voice activation and 68% want wireless connectivity.

But accessing all the connected car has to offer must not come at the expense of driver distraction. Among the biggest being manual-visual distractions posed by handheld messaging.

Dragon Drive! Messaging is the first in a series of connected services that will hit the market this summer as part of Nuance's Dragon Drive! platform. Dragon Drive! features Nuance's renowned Dragon Dictation technology already experienced by tens of millions of consumers worldwide. Drivers experience a conversational mobile assistant messaging experience that lets them speak, listen and respond to text messages and emails – keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. For instance:

· "Send a text to Anna Smith, 'I'm stuck in traffic. I'll be at the office as soon as possible.'"
· "Listen to the email from Alex" to hear text read aloud with Nuance's newly optimized humanlike text-to-speech;
· "Reply to Alex, 'Sushi sounds great. See you at 7.'"

Furthering the hands- and eyes-free connected-car mobile assistant experience, Nuance's Dragon Drive! platform also gives automotive manufacturers the same directed search and natural language understanding capabilities experienced in the successful Dragon Go!. The result is a driver who can speak to:

Find local businesses and information;
Get instant directions from anywhere;
Search and listen to any song or artist; and,
Get instant knowledge and news from the mobile Web.

And it's all available through a simple spoken query or command, regardless if it's in the car or in the cloud. Dragon Drive! hears what you say and understands what you mean, delivering spoken content and information from leading, trusted providers – hands and eyes not required.

Dragon Drive! fully harnesses Nuance's deep experience and research in natural language understanding and automotive voice technologies. The result is a highly specialized automotive-grade hybrid platform optimized for in-vehicle use that engages both the embedded and connected features of in-car infotainment systems. Combined with Nuance's sophisticated array microphone and noise cancellation technology, drivers experience a seamless and natural exchange with their car, minimizing manual and visual distractions.

"As connectivity continues to push into the car, bringing with it a host of new services and features, the risk of driver distraction is becoming a key issue for every vehicle manufacturer," said Jack Bergquist, Automotive Analyst, IMS Research recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS). "Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly turning to natural voice-based interfaces to simplify more complex command tasks and to provide information and data back to the driver in a way that avoids them needing to take their eyes off the road."

"The entire automotive ecosystem faces a critical challenge – keep consumers connected to the content they love, without imposing dangerous distractions behind the wheel," said Arnd Weil, vice president and general manager, automotive, Nuance Mobile. "Dragon Drive! has been designed from the ground up with a focus on voice and natural language bridging that gap to give consumers the ability to take full advantage of the broad range of services today's connected car has to offer."

Availability

Dragon Drive! Messaging is currently available in six languages including US and UK English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. Additional services, languages and country markets will roll out throughout the year. To learn more about Dragon Drive!, visit www.nuance.com/products/dragon-drive.

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