The FINANCIAL — Mercedes-Benz is another step closer to turning the car into a mobile assistant: for customers in Germany and Great Britain certain functions in the car can now be controlled with the Amazon Alexa voice service via Mercedes me.
The new “In-Car Office” service is also systematically putting office solutions in the car and facilitates intelligent access to your personal calendar.
The networking of the physical with the virtual world in the IoT (Internet of Things) is making life easier. Cloud-based voice services such as Amazon Alexa are supported by AI (Artificial Intelligence). Customers of Mercedes‑Benz now have the opportunity to use these solutions for their cars too, according to Daimler.
For example, customers can simply say: “Alexa, ask Mercedes me for the range.” And the customer will be told how many kilometres they can drive before the next refuel. Further functions cover the next service appointment, the vehicle position or the option of starting or turning off the auxiliary heating. Drivers of the new E- and S‑Class in Great Britain can also give the following command for navigation or POI destinations: “Alexa, tell Mercedes me to send an address to the car.” The new service is available in all Mercedes-Benz models from year of construction September 2014 which have a communication module installed for using Mercedes me services and are registered with Mercedes me.
“A day has 24 hours. That can’t be changed. But by using artificial intelligence in the car and our backend infrastructure we can automatically take care of our customers’ routine tasks. The added value for our customers is huge: more time for the things that are important to you”, as Sajjad Khan, Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler puts it. “This means that we are another step closer to turning the car into a mobile assistant.”
Alongside the device in question from Amazon, Mercedes-Benz customers require an active Mercedes me account. In order to use the service the Amazon Alexa app has to be downloaded and connected to Mercedes me. Following its launch in the USA in the spring, this service is now also available for Germany and Great Britain. Further markets will follow. The corresponding service for Google Home will be launched soon.
In-Car Office: The office goes mobile
With the “In-Car Office” service Mercedes drivers can use certain office functions directly in the vehicle and access important data – almost as if they were in their office. The new Office function is currently available as a Mercedes me connect service for the C‑Class and GLC.
“In-Car Office” uses, for example, the locations of calendar entries and automatically transfers these to the car’s navigation system. The user can also dial into a telephone conference on the basis of a calendar entry. The system automatically detects the required PIN access code and simultaneously dials it.
The intelligence required for the service is stored directly in the infotainment system of the vehicle and in the backend. The vehicle just needs to be equipped with COMAND Online and have an active data connection.
These Office functions can be used in the car:
Calendar: automatic dial-in to telephone conferences on the basis of calendar entries; automatic transfer of locations from the calendar into the vehicle’s navigation system; making calls during free time windows only
Telephone: conference option; calls can be answered with the options “Accept”, “Reject” and “Note”; the selection key “Note” provides a reminder of a call at a later point in time.