Project 2: Integrated Voice Command System (ivcs) Carolyn Clements Abby Conklin

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Project 2: Integrated Voice Command System (IVCS)

Carolyn Clements

Abby Conklin

Zach Sabol

Joshua Sampsell

5 December 2014

The team was given an initial problem statement that involved a vehicle design project. After receiving the statement, the team worked together to develop ideas by observing industry trends and assessing customer needs. Concepts were generated through brainstorming and analysis, and the variety of concepts were narrowed with rating and voting. The final design is an Integrated Voice Command System (IVCS) that comprehensively connects a user to the vehicle, as well as their smart devices, and the system allows complete voice control of all the integrated parts of the device and the vehicle.
1.0 Introduction
Our team worked together to complete a customer needs assessment using Survey Monkey and Facebook, as well as in person interviews to gather data on what people look for in connectivity in our cars. Then an extensive external search involving patent searches, product dissection, literature searches, and benchmarking was conducted. All of the data we collected was used during the concept generation step in which we collectively thought of ideas for our design. After carefully narrowing down a long list of ideas, it was finally time to develop the final design using this document as a design tool. The proceeding document describes the method and results of each of these steps of the design process in order.
1.1 Initial Problem Statement

Delphi, a car technology company, tasked our design team with creating a technology that would make cars safer, greener, and more connected. If we made a safer technology, our goal was to help make zero fatalities, zero injuries, and zero accidents a reality. If we created greener technology, we had to focus on zero emissions and zero waste. If we made more connected technology, we had to focus on seamless connectivity while in the vehicle.

Project entries in one (or more) of these three categories should first include background

research into current technologies being deployed today. The project team may then

choose to modify an existing feature/function or create a new technology for enhancing the

vehicle of the future. The scope of the project should include a systems diagram, an

example of the user experience (i.e., a Concept of Operations), as well as the approximate

cost of this new feature.

2.0 Customer Needs Assessment
2.1 Rationale for The Selection of the Opportunity

For project two our group decided to choose the category of making cars more connected. We hoped to achieve this goal by working with app integration and voice control in cars. It was our goal as a design team to allow drivers and passengers to access a wider range of apps and programs to allow them a more connected driving or riding experience. We wanted to make sure the drivers and riders could be as connected as they wanted, while ensuring their safety.
2.2 Industry Trends

One of the main trends in the automobile industry has been to incorporate voice command in a limited sense. Most cars only feature voice command for simple tasks like changing settings in the car such as temperature or the radio station. Many car manufactures have systems that allow for simple communication with the driver. Ford features the Sync system and Toyota has the Entune voice recognition software. Most of these systems are very similar to one another and only feature rudimentary functionality. These systems allow for voice control for phones, interactive music control, and connectivity to 911 in the case of an emergency.

The creation of console touch screens for navigation and minimal app use is another industry trend. The one drawback in many of these systems is that they do not support the integration of third-party apps and programs. Our design teams would like to create a system that would give passengers and the driver access to a wider range of applications with the ability to add in any and all programs that they would desire in the future. This new system would also work with the expanded voice control system to allow safe and easy control from anyone in the vehicle.
2.3 Survey

To understand what customers were comfortable with using and what they would like to use while in their vehicle the team created a survey. This survey gauged not only what apps people would most like to use in their car, but also factors such as how often people drive, their age and how comfortable they would be interfacing with a voice command system. The survey showed us that people were not overly familiar with voice control, but they would only find a system slightly distracting. Most answered in the survey that they would be most interested in using apps pertaining to navigation, music, and phone applications such as texting and voice calls.

3.0 External Search
3.1 Target Specifications

Before we could start our external search, we had to develop a consumer needs and metric matrix in order to create target specifications our voice command had to meet. This way we knew what features would fulfill each need. Our final design had to meet and exceed the expectations in order to be selected. The complete matrix is shown below in Figure 3.1.1.


can use voice command with steering wheel buttons and screen display

voice recognition doesn’t need key phrases to operate

Syncs with phones via Bluetooth

voice recognition can be deactivated easily

car system can function with continuous

phone system updates

Voice recognition can discern driver’s voice from back-

ground noise

easy to operate






compatible with all phone types



compatible with a variety of apps


not overly distracting




Figure 3.1.1

3.2 Literature Search

Our team completed a literature search in order to glean an idea of what was already available to consumers for voice command in vehicles, and to understand how an app could be integrated into a car.
Ford Sync Applink:

Uses voice commands and steering wheel buttons to operate smartphone applications. Compatible with select Android, Blackberry, and iPhone applications. Apps are available for purchase through Google Play, iTunes App Store, and Blackberry App World. Limited to Ford vehicles, with all 2014 models being compatible. For Android phones, Sync Applink works with most devices Android OS 2.1 or later. It is also compatible with many Android apps which include; iHeartAuto, Kaliki, and Pandora Internet radio. Android phones also connect wirelessly with the car. For iPhones, Applink works with iPhone 3GS with iOS 4.1 and later, iPhone 4 with iOS 4.2 and later, and iPhone 5 with iOS 4.3 and later. Compatible iPhone apps include Spotify, USA Today, and Greater Media Apps. To connect iPhones to Applink, first the phone must be connected with a provided cord to the USB port. The Applink compatible app must then be opened before locking the phone. This means multiple apps can’t be running at the same time, and apps have to be closed before using another.(Car Apps, 2014) The voice command functions by first saying “mobile applications” then stating the name of the mobile app. Once the app is running, normal voice commands can be used such as “pause”.(Ford, 2014) The cost of Sync is around $490.00. (Kelly Blue Book 2, 2014)
Honda Voice Recognition:

Honda vehicles include voice command for calling, navigation, audio, and climate control. In order for easy use, Honda recommends reducing background noise completely, angling air vents away from the microphone, and closing  all windows. Once the ‘Talk’ button is activated, a portal screen appears giving examples of voice commands. Commonly used general commands include ‘display map’, ‘display menu’, and ‘What time is it?’. Find Place Commands include ‘find nearest ATM’, ‘find nearest post office’, and ‘find hospital’. Another command type is Climate Control Commands, which include ‘air conditioner on/off’, ‘rear defrost on/off’, and ‘fan speed up/down’. (Honda, 2014) The system is approximately $2,200.00. (Cars Direct, 2014)
Toyota Entune:

Toyota vehicles with premium audio head units have an interface known as the Entune App Suite. Entune App Suite allows drivers to access mobile applications and data services from the vehicle via Bluetooth and cellular data connection. The apps include Facebook, Pandora,, and Yelp. The data services consist of fuel prices, stocks, sports, traffic, and weather. These services and application can be navigated through using voice recognition and the vehicle’s display screen. The navigation system also provides users with information on weather and traffic, address input via voice recognition, and allows users to save routes for easy access later. The voice command system also recognizes three languages; English, French, and Spanish.(Toyota, 2014) Toyota Entune with App Suite is $1,300.00. (Kelly Blue Book 1, 2014)
Through our benchmarking we learned that integrating cars and mobile apps from iPhones, Androids, and Blackberry is possible. We also learned that mobile apps compatible with voice command systems are limited, but the number is continuously growing. Most car companies feature a voice command system in their cars with basic functions such as navigation and making phone calls. Currently, in order to properly operate the voice recognition, background noises need to be eliminated completely and key phrases must be used.

3.3 Benchmarking

Figure 3.3.1 is a table that lists and describes the features of existing systems in the industry that relate to the system or components of the system that we are designing.


Ford Sync Applink

Honda Voice Recognition

Toyota Entune

Phone Compatibility

iPhone, Android, and Blackberry

Phones with Bluetooth capability

Android and iPhone

Voice Command Options


calling, navigation, audio, and climate

calling, navigation, audio, apps

App Compatibility

limited number of compatible apps


limited number of compatible apps

Ease of Operation



Can only run one app at a time, transitions between apps are difficult, iPhones have to be plugged in


Key phrases are simple, display and steering wheel buttons


Key phrases simple, display and steering wheel buttons, easy to switch between apps





Figure 3.3.1
4.0 Concept Generation
For our concept generation we had to brainstorm ideas that would satisfy every customer need, as identified in the survey, with maximum security and efficiency while drawing inspiration from our external search. We first held a brainstorm session in which we explored a large variety of ideas until we created a lengthy list. For our concept selection, we narrowed this list down through a rating system, rating each idea by how fully it met customer needs and how pragmatic its technology would be. In the end there was clearly an idea which stood above the rest, and the team agreed to use this concept as our final design.
Our voice command recognition system fits mainly into the category of connectivity, but the hands-free aspect of the system will also have benefits in the safety category. The primary purpose of the system is to seamlessly connect a user and their smart devices with the user’s vehicle. This allows the user to control nearly every aspect of the vehicle, as well as a multitude of applications using voice recognition. There are devices out there that connect apps to a vehicle’s interface, and there are some limited voice recognition features available, but our system is an integrated approach that puts the user in complete synchronization with the technology of their vehicle and smart devices. Due to the limiting distraction caused by voice commands, when compared with the prevailing traditional manual controls, drivers would be able to remain focussed on driving with their eyes on the road ahead, which leads to an increased level of safety for the occupants of the vehicle and for individuals outside of the vehicle.

5.0 Final Design
5.1 Systems Diagram

Figure 5.1.1 shows the team generated systems diagram for the project. The inputs are power supplied from the car, the audio generated from the passengers of the car, the 4G and Bluetooth signals into the car, and the user’s interaction with the system. The components of the system are the front and back seat microphones, the audio and voice speakers, the car component sensors, the CPU, the wireless transmitter and receiver, and the visual display. All of the components connect with the CPU. The outputs are 4G and Bluetooth seeking signal, system generated voice audio and tone audio, images rendered on the screen, and all of the sensors controlled by the car component sensors. These are the audio unit. the climate control unit, the engine sensor, the windshield wipers, the fuel gauge sensor, and the navigation unit.

Figure 5.1.1

5.2 The Interface

Our team also designed the user interface that users will see upon entering the car. Figure 5.2.1 shows the main screen. In the top row, the three icons (right to left) are for messaging, navigation, and searching. The messaging button will take you to your text messages, voicemail, emails, and any social media messages. The navigation button will connect you to your car's navigation system, or to Google Maps. The search button will connect you to Google, Bing, or will search within your phone’s data. This will allow you to find anything within your phone, such as contacts, media, or any other saved data. In the second row, the three icons (right to left) are for music, voice control, and for the home screen. The music button will take you to the car’s radio and CD player. You can also access XM radio, Pandora, and Spotify through this function. You can also hook your phone up via USB or Bluetooth to play music from your phone. You can press the Voice Control Button to immediately access the voice commands. There is also a button on the steering wheel that accesses this feature. You can say any commands, and the system will follow through with them. For instance, if you press the Voice Command button and say “Turn heat up,” the system will interact with the heating unit and adjust the temperature up. In the bottom row, the three icons (left to right) are for data storage, social media, and settings. The Data Storage button will allow you to access everything you have saved on your phone, and in your car. This can show all your pictures, your car status reports, and contacts. The Social Media button allows you to connect with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and FourSquare. Through this, you can send and recieve tweets, status updates, and pictures. The Settings button allows you to access and edit all your settings for the systems. In this, you can change the volume, change the frequency of updates from various sources, and change the brightness.
Figure 5.2.2 shows the screen that is shown after you press the Navigation button.
Figure 5.2.3 shows the screen that is shown after you acess your call log through the Messaging button.
Figure 5.2.1

Figure 5.2.2

Figure 5.2.3

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