Mercedes combines their MBUX in-car system with ChatGPT

June 16, 2023

AI and ChatGPT

Mercedes owners in the US will experience the first official in-car ChatGPT collaboration. 

On June 16th, Mercedes drivers with compatible models can opt into a beta program to activate a ChatGPT-enabled in-car chatbot. ChatGPT equips the Mercedes chatbot with enhanced natural language capabilities. 

If you have an MBUX-enabled Mercedes and live in the US, you can initiate the beta by saying, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.” You can view their official press release here

Mercedes outlined its vision: “Users will experience a voice assistant that not only accepts natural voice commands but can also conduct conversations. Participants who ask the Voice Assistant for details about their destination, to suggest a new dinner recipe, or to answer a complex question will receive a more comprehensive answer while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

The Mercedes chatbot is eventually expected to have a back-and-forth conversation with users and handle complex queries, such as locating a specific type of restaurant along a route. 

Potential privacy issues

Some have questioned how Mercedes would handle privacy, as the voice system could effectively listen into in-car conversations.

Smartphones are well-known for collecting voice data from users, and the lines of whether they consent for that data to be collected and used and for what purposes are blurry. 

Here, data will be stored in the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Cloud, where it will be anonymized and analyzed. As Mercedes states, they’ll use conversation data to improve the accuracy of future model iterations. 

Videos of the chatbot in action are sure to start appearing on social media.

One user asked the chatbot for “shark jokes,” to which it responded, “Why don’t sharks live on land? Because they can’t walk.” 

It looks like ChatGPT won’t be getting booked for any stand-up comedy gigs soon. 

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.


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