To participate, Mercedes customers can use the company’s app or simply via voice command “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta programme.”
German luxury carmaker Mercedes announced on Thursday that it is bringing popular artificial intelligence technology ChatGPT into its vehicles via Azure OpenAI Service. The beta programme will start today in the United States for more than 900,000 vehicles that are equipped with the Mercedes infotainment system MBUX.
The automobile company said in a blog that ChatGPT complements its existing intuitive voice control via Hey Mercedes and it will become even more intuitive after the addition of the AI chatbot. Mercedes says the move “combines the best of both worlds” as the voice assistant will not only accept natural voice commands but can also conduct conversations with the users like details about their destination, suggest a new dinner recipe, etc.
“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. Our beta programme 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,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement.
To participate in the beta testing, the automaker’s customers can use its app or simply give a voice command “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta programme.” The rollout of the beta programme, which is expected to last three months in the U.S., will happen over the air or OTA. It refers to the process of wirelessly transferring data or software updates to a device, typically through an internet connection. The compatible Mercedes cars are A 238, C 118, C 167, C 238, C 253, C 254, C 257, H 247, N 293, R 232, S 213, V 167, V 177, V 295, V 297, W 206, W 213, WV 223, X 167, X 243, X 247, X 253, X 254, X 294, X 296, Z 223 and Z 296.
Furthermore, to ensure data privacy, the company is said to have complete control over the IT processes in the background, and the voice command data collected is stored in the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Cloud, where it is anonymized and analyzed. “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,” Schäfer added.
In March, the company’s rival General Motors was reported to have been exploring ways to power its vehicles with OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology to help its customers to access information on how to use vehicle features and program functions such as garage doors, or other smart features. Short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT is a popular AI text generator and has been the center of attention since its launch in November due to its human-like response. OpenAI, the parent of the AI-based text generator, has a “multimillion-dollar investment” by American tech major Microsoft.