Cerence, a leading provider of automotive assistant technology that aims to become the heart and soul of the digital car, had an exciting 2023—especially in the final few months. From partnering with other industry leaders to provide better in-car experiences to tapping on new leaders with fresh perspectives, the company has seen no shortage of highlights.
Partnerships to Help Improve the In-Vehicle Experience
In December 2023, the company announced that it had partnered with NVIDIA technology to create Cerence Automotive Large Language Model (CaLLM) to help its automaker customers improve the user experience. According to a press release, CaLLM features a unique level of automotive-specific intelligence. That intelligence draws from the company’s state-of-the-art automotive dataset, which encompasses billions of tokens and can distinctly support automotive functions, features, and customizability. Some of its other features include user personalization in addition to built-in information retrieval capabilities.
CaLLM is currently in proof of concept with leading automakers and will be demonstrated at CES 2024.
Expansion into New Areas of Transportation
August 2023 saw the company bringing its expertise to a new area of transportation: trucking. Boson Motors, a Bay Area-based electric truck company, decided to leverage the company’s text-to-speech solution to lend emotional intelligence and personality to its vehicles. It’ll assist in creating a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) experience with an updated driver event notification system.
“As Cerence expands to new areas of transportation, we’re proud to partner with OEMs like Boson Motors, who is leading an important transformation in trucking through advanced electrification and autonomy,” said Cerence CEO Stefan Ortmanns in a press release. “By integrating Cerence TTS into the in-vehicle experience, Boson will bring an enhanced level of productivity and emotional intelligence to its electric trucks, advancing toward an immersive in-vehicle experience.”
Christian Mentz Named as Chief Revenue Officer
In September 2023, the company named Christian Mentz as chief revenue officer, who is responsible for leading the company’s global sales and business development, sales engineering, and marketing organizations. Mentz joined the company after more than four years in various roles at Amazon, where he successfully led the global business and the marketing organization. The leader has also demonstrated a passion for innovation, having served as an advisor to Dessa, an AI and machine learning firm.
“Having spent a substantial part of my career working on the intersection of AI and automotive to drive advancements and collaboration in infotainment and the digital cabin, I am honored and excited to join Cerence as its chief revenue officer,” Mentz said in a press release. “As our industry continues to undergo significant transformation, I look forward to working with the entire Cerence team to leverage our deep expertise as a pioneer in automotive and generative AI to propel innovation in partnership with our customers worldwide.”
In October 2023, Cerence filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Company and Samsung Electronics America. The suit covers certain core technologies like industry-leading voice recognition, handwriting recognition, and wakeup words—technology the company said is “foundational to Cerence’s product portfolio and its work with the world’s leading mobility OEMs [original equipment managers].”
“Cerence has full confidence in the strength of its patent portfolio and plans to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights,” said Jennifer Salinas, senior vice president and general counsel at the company, in a press release. “This lawsuit against Samsung is necessary to protect significant R&D and other investments, as well as our deep heritage and culture of innovation. We remain committed to having our intellectual property rights respected and enforced.”