Nuance Communications, Inc. announced it has collaborated with Daimler AG to develop and power the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system.
This latest advancement in infotainment systems transforms the driver experience in the cockpit through a fully customised automotive assistant, built specifically for the new A-Class and other future Mercedes models. Powered by Nuance’s conversational AI technology, MBUX leverages the Nuance Dragon Drive platform to understand and continuously learn the needs and preferences of both drivers and passengers over time to provide an increasingly personalised and connected experience.
As the connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles become increasingly standard, the expectations drivers and passengers will have for in-car interactions will continue to evolve. Nuance’s conversational AI technology and the combination of cloud connectivity with embedded, on-board technology is helping to lead this evolution, delivering an intelligent and intuitive user experience that is integrated elegantly into the vehicle.
One of the first in-car systems activated by a wake-up word rather than the push of a button, MBUX is engaged with a simple, “Hey Mercedes.” Natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language generation (NLG) then allow drivers and passengers to interact with MBUX naturally, just as they would with another person.
The natural language understanding designed into MBUX recalls what a driver has said previously and can understand references to things that were said in the past, just like humans can. For example, a user might say “send a message to John,” then follow up with “send it also to Maria,” or ask “what’s the weather like in London?” then follow up with “how about in Manchester?” The assistant has the intelligence to follow the conversation and respond to such requests.
The system is pre-wired to accept flexible, over-the-air updates via the cloud, even for functions designed and embedded directly into the vehicle. The assistant is deeply integrated with the car itself, enabling voice-powered control of in-car functions like climate and music and features like in-seat temperature and massage.
“With MBUX, we have come another step closer to turning the vehicle into a mobile assistant,” emphasised Sajjad Khan, vice president, Digital Vehicle & Mobility, at Daimler. “As we work to create new experiences for Mercedes drivers, the new technologies we implement must have the user at the forefront, with the goal of making interaction with the car seamless and simple.”
“The increasingly digital and connected car is gaining ground as an integral element of the Internet of Things ecosystem,” said Stefan Ortmanns, executive vice president and general manager, Nuance Automotive. “In today’s connected world, users demand simple yet highly personalised access to content and services, and the in-car assistant is no exception.”
The MBUX assistant will first be introduced in the new 2018 A-Class, which is available for order now and began shipping in May 2018.