Mercedes-Benz readies AI-powered next-gen user interface

Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday used the backdrop of 2024 CES to provide insight into its next-generation user interface to be rolled out in the years ahead.

Headlining the features is a voice assistant that leverages artificial intelligence to deliver a more personalized experience. As Mercedes R&D chief Markus Schäfer explained it, the system “will know its driver like never before.”

It will be able to offer helpful suggestions based on routines, and will be able to change its style of conversation to reflect the driver’s tastes or current mood. Mercedes said there are four core response types: Natural, Predictive, Personal, and Empathetic.

For example, if the system detects the driver is frustrated or in a hurry, it will provide prompts that are shorter and more direct. Conversely, if it detects the driver is in a good mood, it will respond with extra conversion and a cheerier tone. Visual feedback will also be provided via an avatar depicted as a star.

Mercedes-Benz previews next-gen user interface at 2024 CES

Mercedes-Benz previews next-gen user interface at 2024 CES

The next-generation user interface also relies on the Unity game engine to produce its graphics. The game engine’s ability to produce 3D graphics is especially helpful for navigation purposes, as it can show representations of the upcoming traffic, differentiating between cars, vans, and trucks, or even a cyclist, as well as pedestrians on the side of the road. The extra realism, Mercedes said, will help ensure the driver will be able to clearly see where exactly their next turn lies.

Running the show in the background will be Mercedes’ own operating system. Known as MB.OS, the system covers a wide spectrum of vehicle domains including infotainment, self-driving technology, comfort, powertrains, and charging. Because of in-house development, Mercedes has full control over updates and upgrades, as well as the security of any personal data.

The first vehicles to feature the MB.OS and the new user interface will be Mercedes’ next-generation compact car range based on the new MMA platform. The first of these will be a redesigned CLA-Class previewed by last year’s Concept CLA-Class EV and expected to go on sale around 2025. Camouflaged prototypes for the new CLA-Class have already been spotted.

Mercedes at CES also announced a new immersive storytelling feature for its available Dolby Atmos surround-sound audio system. The stories are provided in the form of audiobooks from Audible and Amazon Music, which require a subscription, and create the effect that the storyteller (or podcast host or singer) is in the car with you.

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