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Nuance’s Conversational AI Technology Elevates In-Car Experience for New Mercedes A-Class Users

Dragon Drive, Nuance’s Connected Car Platform, Elevates In-Car Experience for New Mercedes A-Class Drivers and Passengers

Nuance Communications, Inc., the pioneer and leader in conversational AI innovations, today announced it has collaborated with Daimler AG to develop and power the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system.

This latest advancement in infotainment systems transforms the driver experience in the cockpit through a fully customized automotive assistant, built specifically 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.

Designed for the future
Analysts have predicted that by 2020, there will be 24 billion IoT devices installed globally and more than 200 million connected cars on the road.  As these connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles become increasingly standard, the expectations drivers and passengers will have for in-car interactions will continue to evolve. Nuance’s conversational AI technology and the combination of cloud connectivity with embedded, on-board technology is helping to lead this evolution, delivering an intelligent and intuitive user experience that is integrated elegantly into the vehicle.  MBUX’s offerings include:

  • A Truly Conversational Interface – 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.
  • Continuous Recall for Ongoing Conversation – 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.
  • Hybrid, Adaptive System – 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.

For more information and images, visit the Daimler MBUX Press Kit and Daimler A-Class Press Kit on the Daimler media portal.

Nuance Automotive specializes in conversational AI technologies for the car, helping automotive manufacturers deliver unique user experiences to their customers. With the Dragon Drive platform, Nuance offers a deeply integrated, hybrid solution that can be customized to become a smart automotive assistant that is seamlessly integrated into the user’s connected ecosystem. Today, Dragon Drive ships globally in more than 200 million cars across more than 40 languages, creating conversational experiences for Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Hyundai, SAIC, and more. To learn more about the ways in which Dragon Drive is amplifying the intelligence of the connected car, visit Dragon Drive on and stay connected on LinkedIn.

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