Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is integrating artificial intelligence into more than 900,000 vehicles as part of a new trial of a ChatGPT-powered voice assistant system.

The company announced on June 16 that the optional beta feature is now accessible to the owner of any vehicle equipped with the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) interface, which currently accounts for more than 900,000 Mercedes-Benz cars in the United States.

Mercedes drivers can sign up for the new AI-powered voice assistant by saying “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program,” while sitting in their car. Alternatively, users can join by signing up through the car manufacturers’ “me” application.

The German-based manufacturer explained that ChatGPT would “complement” its existing voice control feature by expanding upon its existing capabilities:

“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 ChatGPT integration will allow users to ask the Voice Assistant questions that are either related or unrelated to the driving experience, something the chatbot can reportedly provide “comprehensive answers” to.

Any voice command data that’s collected by the voice assistant will be stored in the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Cloud system where it will be anonymized and analyzed, the firm said.

The beta programme is expected to last three months. Following that period, Mercedez said it will then reassess whether it plans to develop the ChatGPT-enabled voice control feature any further.

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U.S. customers can access the new ChatGPT feature through Mecerdes-Benz’s app. Source: Mecerdes-Benz

While this marks the car company’s latest step into AI, Mercedes-Benz has been involved in blockchain-related projects for a number of years.

In January 2022, the car company partnered with several nonfungible token (NFT) artists to celebrate its G-Class series model. The manufacturer also began using Ocean Protocol’s blockchain to collect various user data in July 2020.

In March 2018, the firm also launched its own cryptocurrency to reward eco-friendly driving.

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