Are Delivery Drivers An Overlooked Use Case for Voice? 

We’ve known voice assistants in the car are a growing trend for consumers and that drivers have been finding value in voice technology for some time now. However, the commercial and delivery driver side of things has not yet been fully explored. This week, we discuss Volkswagen’s new commercial vehicle voice assistant pilot for UK delivery service Hermes, allowing drivers to get key delivery information while on-the-go. Enabling a solution like this for driver employees is a no brainer for safety, efficiency and satisfaction. Important for us in the voice space is that this implementation presents a clear hands-busy, eyes-up use case which we expect to see more of emerging in the transportation sector. 

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Speedy Delivery

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles partnered with UK delivery service Hermes to pilot a voice assistant that helps truck drivers with their deliveries. Using the Neo voice assistant paired with a smart display, drivers in London can ask questions including name and address of the person they are delivering to as well as specific information on delivery preferences. With voice technology, commercial drivers can work independently without contacting team members for more information or assistance. When on the road, they can quickly and safely view job-necessary information for more efficient operations, especially as record-levels of online orders continue to be shipped. More on

Bypassing the Vaccine Scheduling Frenzy

Walgreens has integrated a voice assistant with their phone system to help people schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Deploying Nuance Communications’ Virtual Assistant technology, the AI manages questions about vaccine availability and eligibility and can also book appointments for customers calling the customer service line or a local store. The assistant also responds in both English and Spanish. As people across the country struggle to find the limited vaccination appointments, and as customer service representatives face a deluge of requests and calls, the voice assistant is streamlining both the customer experience and employees’ tasks. More on Mobile ID World

Tinkoff Joins The Clubhouse

Russian Bank Tinkoff introduced its Oleg voice assistant into social audio app Clubhouse. As a user, Oleg can join and moderate rooms, reminding Clubhouse users about time limits and other rules. In addition, Oleg’s Telegram integration allows the assistant to transcribe the audio call to the channel in real time. Participants can also ask a question anonymously or without interrupting conversation by sending their queries to the Telegram chat for Oleg to ask the question in Clubhouse. As social audio apps continue to climb in growth and popularity, companies like Tinkoff are exploring how voice technology can play a role in elevating the user experience. More on Finextra

Emerging Tech Stories

  • Vesta. Amazon is in the “late-prototype stage’’ in the development of its Alexa-enabled, smart home robot.
  • Neural Input. Facebook is imagining how future AR glasses may be able to connect with a wristband and haptic gloves that track hand gestures.
  • Project Gucciberg. A new initiative has taken audio samples of Gucci Mane and used them to create an AI generated library of audiobooks narrated by a deepfake of the rapper. 

Stats Don’t Lie

150 million smart speaker units were shipped in 2020.
data via Strategy Analytics)

85% of North American decision makers indicate ASR as important/very important to their future enterprise strategy. (data via Deepgram)

Chart of the Week

(Opus Research)


Voice Tech’s New Job

How do technicians record data when their hands are occupied with tools? How do field workers retrieve information when in the middle of a task? Deskless workers in industries including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and more have historically been underserved by technologies that can make their jobs easier, safer, and more productive. As a result, voice technology is emerging as a tool that thrives in situations where hands and eyes are tied up.

Read more about how to make voice a competitive advantage on the job site.