Episode 125 - Conversational AI in the Passenger's Seat

Since the invention of the automobile, people have had an emotional connection to their driving experience. Cerence is capitalizing on that connection by bringing the consumer’s digital life into the car, enabling intuitive and powerful interactions between the driver and their vehicle.

Cerence Co-Pilot is a first-of-its kind, multi-modal driving experience that transforms the automotive voice assistant into a proactive, AI-powered companion. It analyzes voice, gaze, gesture, and touch to understand complex situations both inside and outside the vehicle. This new level of intelligence not only enhances comfort and convenience, but also improves safety.

Cerence recently partnered with Mercedes-Benz in Germany to introduce Cerence Look, a revolutionary product that enables drivers and passengers to interact with points of interest outside the car.

As Senior Vice President and General Manager of Core Products, Dr. Ir. Christophe Couvreur is responsible for Cerence’s product management, working in lockstep with the company’s R&D and professional services teams worldwide. We sat down with him to discuss the history of conversational AI, the impact of Cerence’s technology, and how the company is extending interactions beyond voice into a multi-sensory experience.

Through a charitable donation to the SAE Foundation, Cerence helps advance equitable STEM learning. And recently, Cerence team members judged an SAE contest for students. These initiatives ultimately build an inclusive, STEM-empowered workforce that will be key to the company’s mission of creating the next generation of conversational AI-powered mobility experiences.

Meet Our Guest

SVP and GM, Core Products, Cerence

Dr. Ir. Christophe Couvreur serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cerence’s core products, responsible for product management and working in lockstep with our R&D and professional services teams worldwide. Prior to his product leadership roles at Cerence, Christophe served in a variety of senior positions at Nuance Communications in research, engineering, project/program management and general management, all focused on bringing innovative speech and AI products to market in the Automotive, Mobile and Gaming areas. Before Nuance, Christophe worked at Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research. He also served as a Lieutenant in the Belgian Air Force. Christophe holds a PhD in Applied Science from Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium), MSc's in engineering from UIUC and in mathematics from UCL, and an MBA from Vlerick Business School.

Our Host


Innovation Strategist & Co-Founder, Brulte & Company

Grayson Brulte is an autonomous mobility advisor and consultant who provides strategic counsel and political insights to help clients navigate what’s next.

As an SAE strategic partner since 2017, Grayson brings his in-depth industry knowledge to host SAE Tomorrow Today. His unique perspective factors in economics, politics and technology into one-of-kind weekly conversations with innovators changing mobility and its impact on society.

Grayson is a thought-leader who regularly provides insights to publications including Bloomberg, Reuters, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Forbes. His written opinions and insights have been featured by organizations including the Consumer Technology Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

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