Press Release

Nuance Opens DRIVE Lab in Detroit Area to Study Enhancements and Advance Innovation for the Automotive User Experience

DRIVE Lab will serve as global hub for research and design advancements for next-generation in-vehicle experiences

DETROIT, September 18, 2017 – Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced the opening of its new user experience (UX) research center, the Design, Research, Innovation and In-Vehicle Experience (DRIVE) Lab just outside of Detroit. The Nuance DRIVE Lab will be a hub for research and learning that will advance user interfaces in cars, ultimately providing drivers with safer, smarter, and more delightful in-vehicle experiences and giving automakers the ability to differentiate with excellent user experiences. Over the coming months, Nuance will also open DRIVE labs in Europe and Asia to address specific local UX needs.

When it comes to human machine interface (HMI) strategy, a recent study conducted by Nuance among the world’s leading automakers found that more than 90% of participants believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is important or very important, and 76% believe connectivity to the home is important. In addition, 43% of respondents noted that AI will have the greatest impact on increasing overall user satisfaction with their in-car systems. The DRIVE Lab will address these needs, serving as the core of Nuance’s efforts to improve the user experience for both current and future automotive assistants. Through its work in the DRIVE Lab, Nuance will continue to expand conversational and cognitive AI capabilities for its Dragon Drive Automotive Assistant, as well as car-to-home and home-to-car interoperability – two factors that car manufacturers find essential as they work to make the AI-driven connected car a reality and prepare for a future with autonomous vehicles.

The DRIVE Lab will study drivers’ preferences, in-car experiences, and future automotive interactions. Key areas of the DRIVE Lab’s research include:

  • Driver needs and preferences – Build an enhanced understanding of which experiences users want to bring in from outside the car (i.e. Smart Home interoperability) and which they view as in-car experiences only. Explore how safety, privacy, functionality and regulatory requirements affect the use of in-car technologies.
  • Unique driver experiences and technologies –  Explore new ideas for user experiences for current and future automotive technologies, including gesture-based technologies and other modalities, which understand the context for requests by understanding vision patterns.
  • Best practices – Create and validate best design practices in Nuance automotive projects: how technologies like wake-up words, barge-in features, and voice biometrics improve the user experience and become essential.
  • Consult car makers and suppliers – Conduct usability reviews of existing deployments as well as new concepts and prototypes and advise on user experience best practices. 

“Automotive technologies are changing rapidly, and innovations like autonomous vehicles and advanced shared mobility are closer to reality than we think – so it’s important that we put a strategic focus on research to provide a truly intelligent automotive assistant that users can trust, now and in the future,” said Bob Schassler, executive vice president and general manager, Mobile Division, Nuance. “Our DRIVE Lab will be the center for our research and testing around new concepts and prototypes for the next generation of automotive user experiences for our customers.”

The DRIVE Lab will also be the hub of future research partnerships between Nuance and auto manufacturers, as well as universities. Nuance will work with these organizations to jointly study not only new technologies, but also how they impact driving risks such as distracted driving.

Nuance’s DRIVE Lab is located in Farmington, Mich., northwest of Detroit, and Nuance will expand the DRIVE Lab to other locations around the globe in 2018 and 2019. For more information, watch the Nuance Automotive vision video for a glimpse into the future of AI-driven automotive and IoT experiences.

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language 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 devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit

Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Information

For Press
Kate Hickman
Nuance Communications, Inc.
Tel: 781-565-4627