SK Telecom adds Nugu AI to T Map to create in-car virtual assistant

T Map X Nugu
Image credit: SK Telecom

SK Telecom has announced that its mobile navigation app T Map is now powered by its artificial intelligence (AI) platform Nugu, effectively transforming the app into an in-car virtual assistant.

Named T Map X Nugu, the AI-based navigation service enables drivers to use their voice to use the existing navigation features as well as other features offered by Nugu.

SK Telecom says T Map X Nugu enhances driver safety by allowing them to set and change destinations without ever having to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. Moreover, users can ask the voice assistant to find the closest or cheapest gas station and begin providing route guidance to the selected destination. It will also show and guide the driver to the nearest parking lot.

While driving, users can request real-time traffic information, including accidents on roads, and adjust the voice guidance volume through voice commands. Upon arriving at their destinations, users can also tell it to end the service/close the app.

Users can choose one of two wake words: Aria or Tinker Bell.

T Map X Nugu also enables drivers to access information content such as news briefing, weather reports, sports scores and daily horoscope, listen to music via SK Telecom’s Melon service, and manage Google Calendar.

SK Telecom says it plans to add more features to T Map X Nugu by November 2017. For instance, drivers will be able to use voice commands to either receive an incoming phone call, or send a text message that states the estimated time of arrival or simply says “I am driving now.”

SK Telecom claims that T Map X Nugu has achieved a 96% success rate in voice recognition despite diverse sources of noise, including car engine sounds, wind and people’s conversations. The cellco also expects that the app will improve Nugu’s AI performance, as it will be able to tap into T Map’s existing user base. SK Telecom launched T Map in 2002, and in July 2016 opened T-Map to subscribers of all mobile carriers free of charge. As of August 2017, T Map has around 10.14 million monthly active users, taking up about 68% of the Korean mobile navigation market.

The T Map X Nugu app will be available for download at One Store now, and from Google Play from September 15. Users of iPhone will be able to experience the updated version in October.

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