VOICE Summit Blog


“Ask Mercedes” Uses IBM Watson To Answer All Your Car Questions

Ask Mercedes chatbot

Image credit: Daimler

You know that feeling when you just got a brand new car? You sit inside marveling at every little detail, maybe caress the steering wheel and breathe in that unique ‘new car smell’. But wait, how do you make it open the garage door? And what the heck does this button do?

In scenarios like these, your first line of action is to consult Google. Then, if you’re really desperate, you look it up in the car manual. It’s not a fun thing to do. Fortunately, Mercedes-Benz understands the frustration and turned to AI to make life easier for users behind the wheel.

Ask Mercedes

With the great minds behind Daimler AG and IBM, a new virtual assistant called “Ask Mercedes” was created based on IBM Watson’s conversational AI to answer common car questions in real time.

The “Ask Mercedes” chatbot uses Natural Language Processing to pinpoint what a confused user is asking, then it may ask a few follow up questions to narrow it down before quickly guiding them using text, graphics, and media. Owners of the E- and S-Class have the added aid of augmented reality where they can use their smartphone camera to scan the car’s interior and have the app virtually point out what’s what.

The fun part is the bot isn’t limited to just explaining car functions. You can also get nosy with questions like, “who is the head of Mercedes?” and “what are these seats made from?”  

This nifty “Ask Mercedes” app has been rolling out across their models since late 2017 and is currently being translated into more languages. Users can either download the “Ask Mercedes” app, connect with the chatbot on Facebook Messenger, or use Amazon Echo or Google Home.

According to the Daimler website, Britta Seeger, a member of their Board of Management says of the app, "We are creating a personalized customer experience that goes well beyond the vehicle. With innovative services such as 'Ask Mercedes', we are further expanding our digital ecosystem."

Meet the people behind Mercedes-Benz’s voice assistants

Sounds like Mercedes-Benz is getting serious about voice technology. In case you haven’t already heard, the largest voice tech event of 2018 is coming up this July and Mercedes-Benz will be there. Specifically Robert Bruchhardt, a Senior Software Engineer at the luxury automobile company who works on integrating voice assistants with their car interfaces.

He’ll be a speaker at the event so if you’re feeling those I-heart-cars-and-voice-tech vibes, you’ll definitely want to hear what he has to say. Get your full-access pass here (or single day pass, if you must).

AI, natural language processing, Amazon Echo, Voice Assistants, Google, google home

J. Medeiros

Written by J. Medeiros

Jenny is an engineer turned tech writer. She has hands-on experience in VR, AR, video game development, and UX-focused web design. Nowadays, she partners with tech companies to create content that helps people understand new technologies. In her spare time, she hangs with Netflix and tests her Alexa's patience.

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