Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft are collaborating to test the integration of OpenAI‘s AI Chatbot ChatGPT into Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The carmaker says the technology will be available to more than 900,000 vehicles in the U.S. during a beta test period.
Expanding Voice Control Capabilities
The luxury automaker plans to use the emerging technology for audio requests through its “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant. This integration is expected to significantly enhance the system's capabilities. Mercedes-Benz has stated that an optional beta program for U.S. customers will commence soon. Customers can enroll via the company's app, Mercedes me, or directly from the vehicle using the voice command, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.”
Unlike most voice assistants that are restricted to predefined tasks and responses, ChatGPT's use of a large language model (LLM) significantly improves natural language understanding and expands the range of topics it can respond to. Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft's AI platform, stated that the new integration would increase voice commands and interaction, task capabilities, and allow for follow-up questions.
Three-Month Beta Program
Based on the three-month beta program and customer feedback findings, Mercedes-Benz will consider further integration of the technology. The beta program will be rolled out over the air, with Mercedes-Benz integrating ChatGPT through Azure OpenAI Service, leveraging the enterprise-grade capabilities of Microsoft's cloud and AI platform. Mercedes-Benz developers who decide to participate will gain insights into specific requests, enabling them to set precise priorities in further voice control development. The company says that findings from the beta program will further improve the intuitive voice assistant and define the rollout strategy for large language models in more markets and languages.
Data Privacy and IT Processes
Mercedes-Benz says it ensures data privacy through a collaboration with Microsoft that enables the integration of ChatGPT, using Azure's enterprise-grade security, privacy, and reliability capabilities. Mercedes-Benz retains complete control over the IT processes in the background. The voice command data collected will be stored in the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Cloud, where it is anonymized and analyzed, says Mercedes.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement, stated, “The integration of ChatGPT with Microsoft in our controlled cloud environment is a milestone on our way to making our cars the center of our customers' digital lives. Our beta program boosts the existing Hey Mercedes functions such as navigation queries, weather requests, and others with the capabilities of ChatGPT. This way, we aim to support conversations with natural dialogues and follow-up questions. Our customers can always rely on us to ensure the best possible protection of their data privacy. Everything is under one big goal: Redefining the relationship with your Mercedes.”