From the Blog

Quiet Cabin Makes Buick LaCrosse a Better Listener

Speech engine picks up accents and dialects from IntelliLink voice commands for mid-Michigan area drivers

When General Motors speech recognition engineer worked to develop one of the industry’s first in-car hands-free calling systems years ago, his goal was to make the call quality clear enough that his wife wouldn’t hang up on him.

2013 Buick LaCrosse IntelliLink  Today, Buick’s IntelliLink system can do far more than place a call, and QuietTuning technologies like those in the LaCrosse luxury sedan make using voice controls easier for owners regardless of marital or relationship status.

QuietTuning is Buick’s comprehensive engineering process to reduce, block and absorb interior noise. For LaCrosse, that means features like laminated window glass, triple door seals and liquid applied sound deadening. These features provide Great Lakes Bay Region customers with a quiet, luxurious ride.

The system’s ability to hear a command relies on SNR, or signal-to-noise ratio. If noise is extremely low like it is in the LaCrosse, the user’s voice, or signal, can be lower. In other words, a LaCrosse driver can easily speak to the IntelliLink system at a normal, conversational volume.

Buick’s IntelliLink voice commands were developed to be simple, intuitive and designed around the controls drivers need most.  

With IntelliLink – standard on every 2013 Buick – drivers can use voice commands to control navigation and audio functions with the push of a button while keeping eyes on the road.  With a smartphone paired, IntelliLink’s voice commands can even tune to a Pandora internet radio station or ‘like’ a song.

How does it work? Using a microphone in the cabin’s headliner, the system uses a speech engine to match spoken words to known voice commands. When the engine finds a match, that command is executed.

Buick also designed the system with speaker adaptation, which means the engine is trained for different accents or dialects. “It can begin to predict speech patterns based on those models. Your LaCrosse remembers your speech patterns even after the car is turned off and on, but it can also identify another user and predict his or her patterns as well.

Pricing for the 2014 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan starts at $34,060, including a $925 destination charge. Standard equipment includes next-generation IntelliLink connectivity, an eight-inch re-configurable color cluster display, eight air bags and an eAssist powertrain that offers an EPA-estimated 36 highway mpg. An all-new Ultra Luxury interior package is available for owners looking for the highest in fashion and comfort. The package includes a unique dark stained Tamo Ash wood throughout the cabin, jet black synthetic suede on the headliner and vanity mirrors, and Semi-Aniline full leather seats in sangria color. It is available on select trim levels as a $2,495 option.