Mercedes-Benz, the renowned luxury car manufacturer, announced on Thursday its plan to launch a test program in the United States, allowing drivers to utilise ChatGPT, an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, to power certain features in their vehicles. Starting from June 16, approximately 900,000 Mercedes vehicles equipped with the “MBUX” systems will be compatible with ChatGPT, which will be downloaded over the air after drivers opt in through the Mercedes app or via voice command.
During the three-month testing period, Mercedes aims to observe how drivers utilise this innovative technology and gather valuable insights. The integration of ChatGPT into the car system will enhance the naturalness of the responses provided by the system and enable drivers to request various information, such as destination details, and seek answers to other queries, like dinner recipe suggestions.
Mercedes has previously offered voice commands for certain functions, such as activating seat heaters, allowing drivers and passengers to interact with their vehicles more intuitively. However, with the inclusion of ChatGPT, Mercedes has taken a significant step forward in integrating advanced conversational capabilities into their vehicles, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.
This collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and OpenAI’s ChatGPT represents a lucrative opportunity for Microsoft, as it will provide a version of the popular chatbot through its cloud services. While Amazon’s Alexa has long been a presence in the automotive industry, Microsoft now presents an alternative with ChatGPT, thanks to its investment in OpenAI.
In a press release, Mercedes emphasised that drivers will not only be able to give commands using the phrase “Hey Mercedes,” but they will also have the ability to engage in conversations with their cars. Microsoft, in a separate blog post, highlighted the potential for ongoing integrations, known as plug-ins, which could eventually enable drivers to make restaurant reservations, book movie tickets, and perform other tasks from behind the wheel.
Insights gained from this test program will play a crucial role in shaping Mercedes’ future plans for implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and language models in other countries and languages. The voice data collected during interactions will be securely stored, anonymised, and analysed within the Mercedes cloud infrastructure, ensuring privacy and data protection.
General Motors (GM), a rival in the automotive industry, has also expressed interest in leveraging ChatGPT for their vehicles as part of their broader collaboration with Microsoft, as announced in March.