Mercedez-Benz is integrating ChatGPT into the voice control system of its vehicles. The idea is that this will improve the existing voice assistant’s ability to understand natural language and provide richer responses to commands.
US owners of Mercedes vehicles equipped with the MBUX infotainment system will be able to opt into the three-month trial program either via the Mercedes app or from the vehicle with the voice command, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.”
The richness of ChatGPT responses is key here. Beyond asking about sports and weather updates, drivers will be able to ask the voice assistant details about their destination—as well as more obscure requests like suggestions for a new dinner recipe, which will lead to a more comprehensive answer from the voice assistant.
The new feature raises the question of whether people would want as much detail as they would get from ChatGPT on their laptops while driving. Too long of a response may raise questions about safety. The details are light on how Mercedes will deploy ChatGPT into MBUX.
Mercedes’s new feature comes during a time when the world of ChatGPT is essentially the wild west. That’s fine in the world of consumerism and hobbyism, said Sid Nag, vice president of cloud services and technologies at Gartner Research. But when enterprises are using it, it needs to be much more tailored to their needs, he said.
In the case of the automotive industry trying to connect large language models to cars, the data needs to be related to the kind of questions people ask in pursuit of the information they need while they’re driving, said Nag.
As such, Mercedes will have lots to learn from the dialogue between a person and their car. In a press release, the luxury car company said that the insights into specific requests will help its developers understand how to refine the development of voice control and to further bring the generative AI-backed voice assistant into more markets and languages.