Nuance voice command technology can already be found in multiple automotive applications such as Ford Sync and My Ford Touch but the company is preparing to take things one step further by implementing true natural language understanding.

Current systems can recognize around 10,000 voice commands but as you can imagine, there are some limitations should you ask for something outside of its pre-programmed library. That next step is called Dragon Drive, a system that allows for natural language conversation by tapping into Nuance’s cloud-based servers much like Apple does with Siri by utilizing a 3G / 4G network connection.

The company is taking baby steps with the technology by first allowing drivers to have access to an SMS service to send and receive text messages. But as the technology takes root, sophistication will expand and we are told that Dragon Drive will handle services like navigation, traffic updates and music playback.

Because Nuance has multiple telco grad facilities worldwide, they don’t expect users to encounter the same latency issues that some Apple users have reported with Siri. Furthermore, Dragon Drive is described as a hybrid system where some of the speech processing is done locally to help speed up the task of sending and receiving information back from the cloud.

We don’t yet know how many companies have signed up for the new service but Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance Mobile says that consumers can expect to see models hit the showroom floor sometime this summer.