Mercedesvehicles are already equipped with voice-command capabilities after drivers deliver the prompt “Hey, Mercedes”. You can use it to adjust the vehicle’s temperature, navigation assistance, or make a phone call. But Microsoft’s “generative artificial intelligence” software will aim to make these interactions more natural, the tech company told CNN.
Rather than answering simple commands, the new ChatGPT system may allow drivers to have conversations. It would recall the context of topics being discussed, and engage in a back-and-forth dialogue with the vehicle’s occupants. Additionally, it would be able to respond to more kinds of requests, even those unrelated to driving. For instance, someone could ask for a recipe or how long it might take to make a trip to a city, according to CNN.
Microsoft says the artificial intelligence is also capable of handling more involved tasks, like making restaurant reservations or acquiring movie tickets. Mercedes owners in America with the MBUX “infotainment” system are participating in a beta test that kicks off this weekend, by using the voice command “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.” The test is expected to last three months, allowing the carmaker’s developers to gain insights and set priorities for further development in the future, Mercedes said in a statement.
“The integration of ChatGPT with Microsoft in our controlled cloud environment is a milestone on our way to making our cars the centre of our customers’ digital lives,” Mercedes-Benz CTO Markus Schäfer said in a statement. “Our customers can always rely on us to ensure the best possible protection of their data privacy. Everything is under one big goal: redefining the relationship with your Mercedes.”
In recent years, automakers have sought to make voice command systems with more capabilities. According to CNN’s report, the thinking is that voice technology is safer than touchscreens because there’s no time looking away from the road during use. Whether ChatGPT will change how automotive voice command systems work is an open question that Mercedes is hoping to answer.