SK Telecom’s T Map upgraded for messages

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SK Telecom’s T Map upgraded for messages

SK Telecom upgraded its T Map navigation app so drivers can send and receive text messages without touching their phones, the company said Tuesday.

According to the mobile carrier, the NUGU artificial intelligence engine embedded in T Map enables drivers to send and receive text messages via voice commands.

In January, the app was upgraded so drivers can change destinations, make calls and share the current position of their car via voice commands.

The latest upgrade helps drivers send text messages while keeping their eyes on the road. Using other assistants like Siri for the service would require drivers to temporarily close down navigation apps, according to an SK Telecom spokesperson.

“According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using smartphones while driving increases the chances of traffic accidents by 23 times because it takes users’ attention away from road conditions,” SK Telecom said in a statement. “With the latest upgrade to T Map, users can simply call out a wake-up word for NUGU, then ask the app to deliver spoken content in text messages to a recipient.”

The app also reads out text messages that have been received. Users can simply say previous, or next, to listen to other messages. For messages that contain advertisements, the AI will not read the full text but rather notify the user the message was an ad.

The carrier also improved the AI engine’s response time to voice commands by more than 30 percent, the company said.

The upgrade is currently available on app stores for Android operating systems. An upgrade for iPhone users will have to wait another month or two, according to the SK Telecom spokesperson.

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