Mercedes-Benz unveiled a new infotainment system called MBUX at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, MBUX has the ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence, which means it can be individualized and adapts to the user. The system is also designed to be future-proof by supporting over the air (OTA) updates. MBUX will enter series production in 2018 in the new A-Class, found in the high-resolution Widescreen Cockpit with touchscreen operation, navigation display with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition. Like other modern devices that support voice recognition, MBUX can be activated by the words, “Hey Mercedes.”
For now, it appears MBUX will only be used in the new compact car generation from Mercedes-Benz, but it should only be a matter of time before it makes its way to the rest of the German automaker’s lineup. One of the system’s major highlights is its comprehensive touch operation, with a combination of a touchscreen, touchpad on the center console, and Touch-Control Buttons on the steering wheel. This will hopefully result in less driver distraction while being a more intuitive experience.
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By using “prediction features,” MBUX will anticipate what the user would like next, based on previous habits. For example, if someone regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time each day, MBUX will suggest doing that. Or if the navigation detects a route is frequently driven, it will automatically start navigation to the destination in the background, and the user just has to confirm for it to start.
According to Mercedes, the voice control is also capable of learning. Not only does it attune to the user and his or her voice, it will also understand non-native speakers better. Over time, the software on the server will learn new buzzwords or even the changing use of language with time.
Along with the arrival of MBUX, there are new and improved Mercedes me connect services, that include navigation functions based on Car-to-X communication, vehicle locating, and even the ability to leave a message in case something has bumped into the parked vehicle or it has been towed away.
The new system’s functions can also be accessed through a smartwatch, which can be used to send addresses or points of interests straight from the smartwatch to the vehicle. The Parked Vehicle Locator can show the car’s location within a radius of less than one mile (1.5 kilometers).
“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. “The system’s ability to learn is spectacular, and unique to date in the car industry. We are using artificial intelligence to give the user individual suggestions based on their habits. The algorithm we use for this is optimised for on-board use in the vehicle and exploits the opportunities afforded by the latest chip generation. ”