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Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft to test ChatGPT in vehicles

Mercedes-Benz electric EQS SUV


Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft are partnering to test in-car ChatGPT artificial intelligence, available to more than 900,000 vehicles in the U.S., the companies announced Thursday.

The luxury automaker said the emerging technology will be used for audio requests through its “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, which is expected to greatly expand the system’s capabilities.

Mercedes said an optional beta program for U.S. customers will begin Friday. Customers can enroll via the company’s app, called Mercedes me, or directly from the vehicle using the voice command, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.”

“While most voice assistants are limited to predefined tasks and responses, ChatGPT leverages a large language model to greatly improve natural language understanding and expand the topics to which it can respond,” the carmaker said in a release.

Like with other industries, the potential applications of ChatGPT in the automotive industry have emerged as a growing discussion. While some, such as General Motors, say their autonomous vehicles already utilize advanced AI, or machine learning, the Mercedes partnership marks one of of the first specific use cases for ChatGPT.

GM earlier this year said it was exploring use cases for ChatGPT in its vehicles as part of a broader collaboration with Microsoft, an investor in OpenAI, which created the technology.

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Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s AI platform, said the new integration will increase voice commands and interaction; task capabilities; and allow follow-up questions, in addition to other things.

“Unlike standard voice assistants that often require specific commands, ChatGPT excels at handling follow-up questions and maintaining contextual understanding. Drivers can ask complex queries or engage in multi-turn conversations, receiving detailed and relevant responses from the voice assistant,” Boyd wrote in a blog post.

Based on the findings of the three-month beta program and customer feedback, Mercedes-Benz will consider further integration of the technology, according to the companies.

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