MEDIA ALERT — Nuance Communications Supports Ban on Handheld Texting While Driving
Company Advocates for In-Car Systems, Devices and Mobile Phones Powered by Speech Technology to Minimize Visual and Manual Driver Distractions
BURLINGTON, MA, October 7, 2009 — Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that it supports a ban on handheld text messaging behind the wheel. Its obvious distractions pose a serious danger to drivers, their passengers and others on the road. The practice of texting while driving takes drivers’ eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel, which has lead to a number of highly-publicized accidents.
Nuance attended the Distracted Driving Summit held in Washington, D.C. on September 30th and October 1st, and given the facts and testimonials presented, advocates for the creation of a safer, smarter driving environment with in-car systems, devices and mobile phones powered by voice-based, or speech technologies. Nuance also advocates for a federal initiative that drives the increased deployment of these systems, enabling a safer mobile environment via hands-free interfaces requiring limited to no visual confirmation.
In Nuance’s 2008 In-Car Distraction Study implemented by the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany, an analysis of drivers’ eye movements revealed that voice commands help drivers keep their eyes on the road, reducing driver distraction by as much as 100 percent depending on the task.
Speech recognition technology improves the overall safety of the automotive environment through hands-free interfaces that keep drivers’ eyes on the road. Drivers can dial a contact or phone number, input a navigation address or select their favorite song — all by using their voice. Nearly all automakers, including Ford, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes and others, have already integrated aspects of speech technology into certain in-car infotainment systems.
Multiple devices brought into the automobile, including personal navigation devices and mobile phones, are increasingly deploying speech capabilities. These include both voice command and control and text-to-speech-enabled readback that allow drivers to keep focused on the road ahead, ultimately reducing visual distractions.
As legislative efforts that address handheld texting while driving intend to create an overall safer automotive environment, it’s critical to observe the ways in which the mobile industry can provide a viable solution for minimizing distractions behind the wheel through the integration of speech technology.
Nuance is making available its policy paper, “A Safer Alternative to Keep Hands on the Wheel and Eyes on the Road: Speech Technology to Minimize Driver Distractions.” To receive a copy, please contact Rebecca Paquette.
“We support a ban on handheld text messaging while driving. However, legislation must also encourage the implementation and continued innovation of those in-car systems and devices that enable a safer driving experience and ultimately minimize distractions — much of which is accomplished through a well-designed integration of speech technology.” — Steve Chambers, president, Mobile-Enterprise-Consumer Services Division, Nuance.
“Multiple studies make it clear that taking your eyes off of the road while driving puts the driver and others in a perilous situation. It’s critical that drivers are able to stay focused on the road ahead and, through innovations in mobile speech, it’s possible for drivers to leverage the benefits of their in-car systems and portable devices without manual or visual distractions.” — Steve Chambers, president, Mobile-Enterprise-Consumer Services Division, Nuance.
Nuance is available for additional commentary on its support for a ban on handheld text messaging while driving, and to further discuss the role that speech technology plays in minimizing the dangerous driver distractions posed by manual input and extended visual confirmation. Please contact Rebecca Paquette to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.
About Nuance Mobile
Nuance Mobile builds innovative, intelligent and intuitive touch and speech interfaces to simplify and enhance the way people interact with mobile devices, applications, and services. Nuance Mobile solutions make mobile devices and in-car systems easier to use, automate customer self-service, and optimize the access and discovery of even the most advanced mobile applications and content — regardless of technical know-how, location, environment, or physical and literacy capabilities.
Nuance Communications, Inc.
Nuance is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit: www.nuance.com.
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