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ATX Unveils Hands-Free Web Surfing From Inside the Car

November 14, 2008

DALLAS, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Drivers will now be able to search the Web hands-free by using their voice from the comfort of their car. Drivers will no longer have to wait to do a Web search by finding the nearest roadside WI-FI hot spot, or find a place to pull off the road and navigate through a series of Web links on their wireless phones. ATX Group, the leading provider of telematics services to global automobile manufacturers, announced today the development of its Browse By Voice(TM) application that allows speech-enabled access to the Internet for tasks such as local search and general Web search in the vehicle. The multimodal interface is simple to use and designed to ensure safety for the driver.

Browse By Voice(TM) enables drivers to simply speak a search phrase rather than having to type a text string into a search engine’s search box. So, when a Google or Yahoo search engine main page is displayed on an in-vehicle display, the user will only have to say: “What’s the weather in Boston?” to activate the search rather than having to type the phrase or use a knob to do the equivalent entry of a text stream.

ATX has been demonstrating this prototype service for several selected automobile manufacturers. Built on a natural language, voice mobile search platform, drivers can speak naturally and don’t have to memorize a list of commands. Nor does the driver have to do a “directed” search, breaking the search into a series of individual steps. One single request in natural language is all that is needed to initiate the search. The system can account for regional dialects and adapts to a user’s speaking habits, capturing how they pronounce words and what words are used in specific, real-life, in-vehicle circumstances.

“Voice is a natural method to converse in the car. Extending this to the Internet makes sense. We’re not only interested in finding the best and safest way to enable drivers to browse while driving, but we’re also interested in enabling other functionality in mobile devices such as outbound texting,” said Dr. Tom Schalk, ATX vice president of voice technologies.

ATX’s natural language voice platform is slated to enable drivers to send text messages without typing, compose and send emails, perform local search, and manage social networking.

Browse by Voice(TM) is just the latest innovation that ATX has deployed in its strategy to integrate into the vehicle the online preferences, decisions and experiences that consumers have already made on their desktop computers.

“Our strategy is not to sell consumers a separate suite of online services in the vehicle in addition to the online services they already receive,” emphasized Steve Millstein, ATX president. “We believe a better approach is to enable the decisions they’ve already made and extend them into the vehicle, making the driving experience relevant to their daily lifestyle.”

Customizing the in-vehicle, online experience to conform to the necessity for safe driving measures as well as the unique audio environment of the vehicle also is a critical element to Browse by Voice(TM) deployment. ATX is a founding member of the dot.car initiative coordinated by the Connected Vehicle Trade Association in cooperation with the Society of Automotive Engineers. This initiative is focused on providing the general standards for using internet in the car while maintaining driver safety.

Browse by Voice(TM) represents the latest in a series of pioneering, collaborative achievements by ATX to bring Web access into the vehicle driving environment that began in 2001 when ATX partnered with Mercedes-Benz to introduce the first Web-based information service into a production vehicle.

ABOUT ATX:

With operations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Dusseldorf, Germany, ATX is one of the world’s leading providers of customized telematics services to global automobile manufacturers. ATX services, among the first to be launched in the consumer vehicle market back in 1996, are provided to vehicle owners through the brand names of its customers: BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Services by ATX provide enhanced safety, security and driving convenience to vehicle owners, and include location-specific emergency and roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery, remote diagnostics, and real-time traffic and navigation assistance. ATX also customizes services to help automobile manufacturers and their affiliated dealerships use telematics data and multiple customer contact channels to reduce costs, enhance vehicle servicing, and more closely manage customer relationships and contacts with the vehicle through its lifetime. ATX is a division of Cross Country Automotive Services ( http://www.crosscountry-auto.com/ ), a leading provider of location-based automotive services.

For more information, visit http://www.atxg.com/ .

ATX Group

CONTACT: Gary Wallace, Vice President, Corporate Relations of ATX Group,+1-800-511-5891 or +1-972-753-6230, gwallace@atxg.com

Web Site: http://www.atxg.com/http://www.crosscountry-auto.com/




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