Full article Talking cars might have caught on decades ago, if only they had something worthwhile to say. Instead, they chided drivers to buckle up or turn on the headlights. And early efforts to build cars that listened to a driver's instructions were barely more helpful: asking the air-conditioner for 72 degrees, often as not, resulted in the radio lurching from soothing jazz to a station blasting out heavy metal. Developing voice-activated controls for autos is a demanding task due to interference caused by wind noise and the rumble generated by rough road surfaces. To improve the accuracy of the systems, the computing giant [I.B.M.] is taking a creative tack, supplementing the audio input with a video channel programmed to read lips. Using infrared sensors to assure effective operation after dark and to track the position of the mouth, the system matches lip movements to a database and correlates the results with input from a microphone.