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Hyundai readies voice-activated assistant for drivers

Rival Japanese automakers also aim to add smart speaker technology

Hyundai Motor will unveil its smart speaker technology next month, part of the concept design seen here for the interior of a connected car.

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor will equip new cars with smart speaker technology starting in 2019, as automakers worldwide race to build voice-activated artificial intelligence into vehicles.

The South Korean automaker, which announced the plan Thursday, looks to bolster its competitiveness in the connected car field by introducing the speakers jointly developed with U.S. venture SoundHound.

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