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How to Make the Most of Your Car’s Voice-Activated Systems

Voice-activated systems like Siri and Alexa may be designed to make our lives easier and more convenient, but that doesn’t mean they are always accurate–and right in the first try.

Still, they’re worth using in your vehicle, especially if you’re the type of person who can’t live without your phone.

Older Voice-Activated Systems

There are some older cars with good-to-excellent voice-activated systems. Car Gurus gave a thumbs-up to strong voice activated technologies of the 2014 Mazda MAZDA3 and the 2014 Kia Soul. 

Newer Voice-Activated Technology

The newer voice-activated technology allows you to access Apple Car Play and Android Auto–or Google and Siri. More powerful and capable, they can grasp words far better, resulting in better accuracy.

CarGurus recommends the 2018 Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Traverse. The Traverse has gotten many good reviews, and is touted to have one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems today. It also has a myriad of features, from 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection to even a programmable Teen Driver report-card technology.

How to make the most of your voice-activated systems

No matter how old or new your  voice-activated technology is, it’s always good to keep the following things in mind:

  • Some digital assistants require you to ask follow-up questions; others require less, and are far more intuitive. Make sure to get to know how your system works first before you use it on the road. That way, you won’t end up getting distracted on the road.
  • When driving, it’s always best not to let your voice-activated systems finish tasks that require too many steps–such as responding to an email or text. It’s best to let them just read the contents and then stop driving when you want to reply back.
  • There are times when it can get pretty frustrating getting understood by these voice-activated systems. Perhaps everyone has had that experience of getting their words or sentences misunderstood or jumbled up–and heaven help those vowels from getting misplaced elsewhere. The most effective way to lessen these mistakes is to speak at a normal pace–not too slow or too fast. Also, avoid eating or slurring your words like you do when talking to friends. Google representative Nadja Blagojevic offered the following advice to Fast Company: “Speak naturally and clearly, but don’t strain to enunciate too much or speak slowly.”
  • There are some cases where the problem is mainly technical–a clogged microphone or pinhole. This is often seen in Android phones, so make sure to check your phone for obstructions, like dirt or leftover food from time to time.
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