Beginning Friday (June 16), the carmaker will begin beta testing an integration of the ChatGPT generative AI function with its MBUX Voice Assistant in more than 900,000 vehicles.
According to a news release, drivers can take part via the Mercedes me app or directly from their cars using the voice command “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program,” the company said.
“Mercedes-Benz is integrating ChatGPT through Azure OpenAI Service, leveraging the enterprise-grade capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform,” per the release.
Mercedes says its voice assistant already contains a large portfolio of commands, letting drivers and passengers get updates about the weather or sporting events, get answers to questions about their surroundings or control smart-home functions.
“ChatGPT complements the existing intuitive voice control via Hey Mercedes,” the company said. “While most voice assistants are limited to predefined tasks and responses, ChatGPT leverages a large language model to greatly improve natural language understanding and expand the topics to which it can respond.”
The Mercedes/Microsoft partnership follows a collaboration announced in February between the automaker and Google, giving drivers access to Google’s Place Details function, which provides information such as hours, ratings and reviews for more than 200 million businesses.
“We’ll provide our AI and data capabilities to accelerate [Mercedes] sustainability efforts, advance autonomous driving, and create an enhanced customer experience,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, said at the time.
As PYMNTS noted, this initiative is one that evolves as entertainment, real-time navigation and commerce are threaded together.
It’s already happening as Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto have increasingly incorporated voice commands into their offerings.
“There has got to be some element of intelligence built into that because there’s a dialogue that goes on,” Edwards told PYMNTS.
And Mercedes is far from the only car company exploring the possibilities of generative AI. A report from Reuters in March noted that General Motors was exploring the use of ChatGPT in its vehicles as part of a broader partnership with Microsoft.
“ChatGPT,” GM Vice President Scott Miller told Reuters, “is going to be in everything.”