Starting June 16, Mercedes-Benz owners in the United States with the MBUX infotainment system can explore the possibilities of ChatGPT by simply saying, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program. While voice commands offer convenience and hands-free operation, drivers need to be aware of the potential cognitive demands of engaging in lengthy conversations behind the wheel.
Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft have teamed up to integrate ChatGPT, OpenAI’s “generative artificial intelligence” software, into Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the US. The collaboration is designed to enhance the voice command capabilities of Mercedes vehicles, allowing for more natural and dynamic dialogue with the driver.
Drivers can activate ChatGPT through the beta program, which will be available to more than 900,000 Mercedes vehicles equipped with the MBUX infotainment system, by simply saying, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program”. The upgrade will be downloaded automatically over the air and will enhance the capabilities of the existing voice assistant by using ChatGPT’s AI language models.
Mercedes’ decision to upgrade its voice assistant with ChatGPT is in line with the company’s aim to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly experience. The upgrade should allow drivers to communicate with the MBUX voice assistant in a more natural and conversational way, rather than forcing them to recall specific words to activate various functions.
While this link has practical benefits, some see it as a chance for Mercedes-Benz to capitalize on the AI hype. ChatGPT will give Mercedes-Benz drivers “extended task capabilities”, allowing them to ask “complex questions” and discuss numerous topics, including recipes, according to Microsoft, which is supporting the beta test through its Azure cloud system. However, there are concerns about the potential distractions caused by long chats while driving.
ChatGPT has proven its adaptability in a variety of areas, from research and essay writing to assisting with reservations and ticket purchases. While voice commands are typically considered safer than physical controls or touchscreens because they allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road, research shows that the mental processing required for voice commands can still be distracting.