Mercedes introduces ChatGPT voice assistant

Mercedes owners can now hold a conversation with their car while driving, thanks to a ChatGPT upgrade of the automaker’s voice assistant.

Starting Friday (June 16th), owners of Mercedes cars equipped with the MBUX infotainment system can sign up for the beta version of its ChatGPT-powered update.

Mercedes-Benz said the software will be available to over 900,000 vehicles in the US and customers can download it either via the Mercedes me app or by using the voice command “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.”

The rollout will take place over the air through Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, the company said, but data privacy and IT processes will be managed by Mercedes-Benz.

“Our customers can always rely on us to ensure the best possible protection of their data privacy,” Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer said.

Mercedes-Benz said its MBUX Voice Assistant “has already set industry standards,” but ChatGPT will make it “even more intuitive.” It doesn’t only accept voice commands but can also conduct conversations, the company said.

It means drivers and passengers will be able to discuss details about their destination or plans for dinner with their car, and expect more comprehensive answers than previous versions.

“Our beta program boosts the existing Hey Mercedes functions such as navigation queries, weather requests, and others, with the capabilities of ChatGPT. This way, we aim to support conversations with natural dialogues and follow-up questions,” Schäfer said.

The US-focused beta program is expected to last three months. Findings will be used to further improve the voice assistant and define the rollout strategy for other markets and language, Mercedes-Benz said.

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