BMW named top luxury car brand in the US, beating Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi
BMW has overtaken Mercedes-Benz to become the top selling luxury car brand in the U.S. in 2014. The automaker sold 339,738 vehicles, which is around 9,000 more than its closest rival and former titleholder Mercedes-Benz. In 2013, Mercedes scooped the title, selling around 3,000 more than BMW.
BMW's car sales in the U.S. increased 9.8 percent during 2013, compared with the U.S. auto market's average of a 5.9 percent.
Daimler owned manufacturer Mercedes-Benz witnessed a 5.7 percent increase in sales, while Toyota owned Lexus came in at number three, selling 311,389 vehicles, a 13.7 percent increase.
Volkswagen-owned Audi claimed the fourth position, overtaking General Motor's Cadillac. Audi reported sales of 182,011, up 15.2 percent, while Cadillac sales fell by 6.5 percent to 170,750 units.
The top U.S. luxury automakers 2014
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.