April 19, 2024
Mercedes-Benz Teases CES 2024 Crowd with In-Car NFT Gallery and 'Emotional' AI Assistant

Mercedes-Benz Teases CES 2024 Crowd with In-Car NFT Gallery and ‘Emotional’ AI Assistant

In a dazzling display of technological innovation, German automaker Mercedes-Benz took centre stage at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), unveiling its updated MBUX Virtual Assistant. This latest iteration boasts an NFT gallery, an AI voice assistant featuring “emotional profiles,” and promises to be the “most human-like interface with a Mercedes-Benz yet.”

Powered by generative AI and running on the next-generation Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS), the MBUX Virtual Assistant taps into a large language model (LLM) to engage with drivers through four distinct emotional profiles. Markus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer at Mercedes-Benz, explained the modes as natural, predictive, personal, and empathetic, offering a unique and tailored interaction with the driver.

“Through advances in artificial intelligence, tomorrow’s Mercedes-Benz will know its driver like never before,” Schäfer emphasized. “It will enhance and complement our customers’ lives—in their cars and in other areas too.”

The MBUX Assistant goes beyond conventional voice-activated controls. It learns the driver’s preferences over time, from automatically selecting the preferred radio station during the morning commute to activating seat massagers and dimming lights during night driving. This level of personalization aims to create a seamless and intuitive driving experience.

In a groundbreaking move announced in June 2023, Mercedes-Benz revealed its collaboration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot to enhance the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) voice assistant. However, Schäfer clarified that the final product might not be limited to ChatGPT, leaving room for the exploration of alternative chatbots or language models that better suit customer needs, including localization in different regions.

Concerns about data privacy have been addressed, with drivers having the option to opt out of the program. Schäfer assured that the virtual assistant learns only from individual cars, with no data shared across drivers.

The updated MBUX Virtual Assistant is set to launch in early 2025, accompanied by an overhaul of Mercedes-Benz’s navigation and in-car entertainment systems. The latter will feature the MBUX Sound Drive, an in-car music experience developed by recording artist Will.i.am, designed to synchronize music with the vehicle’s driving dynamics.

Not stopping at entertainment, Mercedes-Benz is diving into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by introducing the MBUX Collectibles in-car app. This feature allows drivers to showcase their NFT collections on the vehicle’s dashboard, including the brand’s own NXT NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. The NXT Icons NFT collection, launched last year, made headlines for causing the automaker’s website to crash due to overwhelming demand.

Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to innovative technology extends beyond the realms of entertainment and luxury. In 2020, the company announced a blockchain pilot project in collaboration with traceability start-up Circulor, aiming to track CO2 emissions in its cobalt supply chain.

As Mercedes-Benz continues to push the boundaries of automotive technology, the future of driving appears to be connected personalised and emotionally intelligent. The integration of AI, NFTs, and blockchain reflects a commitment to staying at the forefront of the rapidly evolving automotive landscape.

Image: Wallpapers.com

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