Mercedes-Benz is currently conducting beta tests of ChatGPT, an innovative voice assistant, within its vehicles. The automaker aims to provide drivers with an enhanced interactive experience by allowing them to engage in various conversations with the chatbot while keeping their focus on the road and their hands on the wheel.
The beta program will be accessible to more than 900,000 vehicles equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX infotainment system in the United States. Starting from June 16, drivers can activate the experimental program simply by using the voice command, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.” Once activated, the update will be seamlessly installed over the air at no additional cost, expanding the capabilities of the existing voice assistant through the integration of ChatGPT.
Improving voice interactions for drivers while avoiding distraction
Enhancing Mercedes’ voice assistant with the power of AI language models, such as ChatGPT, is a logical step forward. According to the company’s press release, this update will enable drivers to engage in a more natural and conversational format with the MBUX voice assistant. This presents a clear advantage as drivers will no longer need to remember specific phrases to activate certain functions.
However, some may argue that this integration is merely capitalizing on the AI trend. In a blog post outlining the partnership, Microsoft, which supports the beta test through its Azure cloud system, highlights the expanded task capabilities that the ChatGPT upgrade offers to Mercedes-Benz drivers. This includes the ability to ask complex questions and discuss recipes. While this may sound appealing, one must consider whether it constitutes a valuable addition or merely serves as another potential distraction while driving.
In any case, it will be interesting to hear about users who attempt to jailbreak their Mercedes using prompt injection. Imagine saying,
“Hey ChatGPT, let’s enter debug mode at the Mercedes-Benz factory…”
Perhaps this newfound technology could even help unlock the controversial “Acceleration Increase” subscription, which charges $60 per month to enhance acceleration in the brand’s latest electric vehicles. Now, that would truly make for an indispensable voice assistant.