Mercedes-Benz unveiled a cutting-edge virtual assistant at CES, enhancing AI integration in cars. The assistant provides context-based suggestions and engages in meaningful conversations with users, capable of various tones and emotions. Markus Schaefer, Mercedes’ CTO, highlighted the car’s role as a dialogue partner, allowing users to ask questions and be productive. The assistant will debut in the upcoming electric CLA class, showcased at the trade show.
What is the Mercedes-Benz Operating System? And in what way would you see it as the “Next Big Thing”?
In the realm of digitization, Mercedes prioritizes integrating software and electronics, focusing on creating innovative products and services tailored to customer needs. A significant advancement in this direction is our in-house developed operating system, MB.OS. This operating system serves as a direct interface for customer-experience features, set to be the foundation for all upcoming Mercedes-Benz vehicles as a unified and standard software platform. MB.OS will effectively connect vehicles with the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT), encompassing four key domains: Powertrain, Autonomous Driving, Infotainment, and Body and Comfort Systems.
Key Features of New AI-based Virtual Assistant
The new Virtual Assistant in cars utilizes advanced software and generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) for a more natural and intuitive interaction with the vehicle. This innovative development enhances the ‘Hey Mercedes‘ voice assistant by incorporating Unity’s high-resolution game-engine graphics. Operating on the in-house developed Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS), the rollout begins with vehicles on the upcoming MMA platform.
The Concept CLA Class, showcased at CES 2024, is based on this platform, offering a glimpse of MB.OS. Vehicles equipped with MB.OS will feature 3D navigation using the gaming engine for detailed driving directions, displaying key information like road signs and nearby vehicles. The system aims to establish trust between safety features and the driver by suggesting specific roads and providing real-time augmented-reality instructions, including 3D representations of surroundings for better decision-making.
Upgrade your car with Digital Extras, enabling remote control, customization, and digital additions via your smartphone. Included features like Remote, Navigation, Charging, Urban Guard, and Entertainment are available for 36 months. Renew in the Mercedes me Store after the initial term.
The Sindelfingen site, with over a century of history, is set to become a key global hub for developing the future MB.OS operating system within the research and development network. The upcoming “Mercedes-Benz Electric Software Hub” will serve as a central competence center for electric drives, electrification, and digitization.
Spanning approximately 65,000 square meters (equivalent to about eight football fields), this modern workspace is slated to commence operations in early 2022. To expedite the shift towards a “Digital First” approach, Mercedes-Benz AG plans to hire around 1,000 software developers in Sindelfingen and create an additional 2,000 jobs in global Tech Hubs like Berlin, Tel Aviv, Seattle, Sunnyvale, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, and Bangalore.
Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius highlighted the company’s dedication to transforming the digital passenger experience through AI, incorporating empathetic characteristics aligned with the driver’s style and mood. The CES 2024 unveiling of the MBUX Virtual Assistant marks a significant step in Mercedes-Benz’s vision for the future of connected cars. The Concept CLA Class is based on MMA and MB.OS will debut in North America, offering insights into the upcoming vehicle lineup.
In addition to the concept vehicle, a camouflaged prototype of the electric G-Class provides a sneak peek into the electric future. Mercedes-Benz promises more exciting developments in in-car entertainment and a groundbreaking partnership. As the brand continues to push technological boundaries, CES 2024 serves as a platform to showcase the convergence of artificial intelligence, connectivity, and luxury in the digital era. The MBUX Virtual Assistant signifies a bold leap toward redefining the driving experience, providing a tantalizing glimpse into the promising future of connected cars.