Nuance Communications announced it has collaborated with Daimler AG to develop and power the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system for the new A-Class and other future Mercedes models. Powered by Nuance’s state-of-the-art 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 personalized and connected experience.
Nuance’s conversational AI technology and the combination of cloud connectivity with embedded, on-board technology delivering an intelligent and intuitive user experience that is integrated elegantly into the vehicle. MBUX’s offerings include:
Wake Words for Conversations:
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, to ask questions and complete requests. For example, if a driver asks, “can I wear flip flops tomorrow?” the assistant understands that the request calls for the weather forecast and can respond naturally with “yes, it will be warm tomorrow.” If a driver says, “it’s too hot in here,” the assistant knows to reduce the in-car temperature. It utilizes natural and varied outputs rather than stereotypical, scripted answers.
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.
OTA & Voice Powered Control
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. As the software model is continuously enriched with new words or changing use of language over time, new domains (for example seasonal sports events), virtual assistants and services can be added to broaden the spectrum of information available to the driver at any time and ensure the vehicle can always include state-of-the-art capabilities. In addition, 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,” emphasized 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. That’s why we worked closely with Nuance, a long-time partner, on MBUX, leveraging their intuitive and natural voice and language solutions as an integral part of how we build an in-car experience that helps differentiate us in the minds of drivers.”
“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 personalized access to content and services, and the in-car assistant is no exception. We’re proud of our work with Daimler to create MBUX, a system that is at the forefront of a new wave of AI-powered automotive assistants.”
Dragon Drive powers MBUX features in 23 languages, including UK English, US English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. 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.