General Motors' OnStar subsidiary announced on February 26 that it has selected IBM to provide interactive speech technologies for its next-generation voice-recognition applications. Working in collaboration with OnStar, the IBM Embedded ViaVoice product was enhanced to deliver superior voice interactions for OnStar customers. Additionally, OnStar has selected the IBM Websphere Voice Response software and IBM eServer pSeries systems as the foundation to build OnStar-specific voice-interactive services for its customers. This development will be supported by resources from IBM Global Services. Frank Roney, IBM Managing Director, General Motors Global Account said, "At IBM, we see voice technology as fundamental to automotive telematics, and we are delighted that OnStar has chosen our interactive voice technologies as the foundation of their new Gen6 applications."Terms of the multi-year agreement, which begins with model year 2004 vehicles, were not disclosed. OnStar said it selected IBM because its technology provides the following advantages: * Leading, state-of-the-art voice recognition software that will receive continual enhancement over the long term from IBM, in collaboration with OnStar requirements. * Technology that aligns with OnStar's targets for recognition accuracy across the full spectrum of automotive driving conditions and user dialects. * Technology that supports OnStar's user interface requirements. A flexible platform that can be customized over time to incorporate automated delivery of OnStar-specific applications and services. * Continued, real-time integration of advances in speech-recognition and other telematics technologies from IBM Research. OnStar and IBM view voice recognition capabilities as essential in the emerging world of in-vehicle automotive communications, where the miniaturization of communications devices in cars is driving the use of interactive voice technologies — hands-free dialing and navigation, for example — to replace more traditional interfaces.