Mercedes-Benz will continue to use Cerence’s speech recognition technology as the foundation for the second generation of its in-car virtual assistant. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) allows drivers to control various aspects of the vehicle with simple voice commands, making it easier (and safer) to find restaurants, send emails, and control the infotainment system while on the road.
The latest version of MBUX supplements that with biometric features to deliver an even more personalized experience. The system will create individual profiles for each driver, and will automatically adjust the seat position, temperature, and media settings after identifying the driver with voice recognition.
Some of those benefits will also be extended to passengers. Cerence’s speech signal enhancement technology is able to determine the seat position of each speaker thanks to microphones spread throughout the vehicle, enabling features like multi-seat phone calling and an intercom system that allows drivers to communicate directly with individual passengers.
MBUX offers support for 27 languages, and is able to pick up on certain conversational cues (such as “I’m cold”) to take action (and turn up the heat) without a direct command. Similarly, drivers will no longer need to use the “Hey, Mercedes” wake word to perform basic actions like answering the phone. The platform uses an hybrid embedded and cloud approach to deliver consistent service in areas with poor connectivity.
Other features include handwriting recognition, which allows drivers to write commands using the MBUX touchscreen, and a Travel Knowledge platform that provides drivers with information about the world around them. MBUX can also be integrated into a larger smart home setup, so drivers can turn on appliances before they arrive at home. Travel Knowledge is based on Cerence Look, while the smart home capabilities are realized with Cerence Studio.
MBUX debuted in 2018, and Cerence has continued to power the solution since spinning off as an independent company in 2019. Mercedes and Cerence formally reaffirmed their smart car partnership last December.