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Mercedes goes all in with in-car natural language control

Mercedes goes all in with in-car natural language control
From Engadget - January 9, 2018

In a yet-to-be-announced Mercedes-Benz A Class, the automaker took me on a drive around Las Vegas not to see the casinos, but to look at its upcoming infotainment system (MBUX) and during the drive, I have to say, it was impressive.

The automaker has worked with natural-language powerhouse Nuance to make talking to your car easier and how humans actually say things in 23 languages. There's no longer the need to press a button to enable voice controls. A simple "Mercedes" will get the car to listen to you and launch a wide range of features including, navigation, adjusting the climate controls, heating and adjusting your seat, media selection and more. The list goes on and on.

With its work with Nuance, Mercedes has been able to do away with the "scripts" needed to find a location. You just say something the way you would tell a friend. That also includes the ability to interrupt the infotainment system while it's asking follow up questions.

The most impressive part of the demo was when the car was asked: "can I wear flip flops" in a city as a weather query. It answered. When the driver said, "it's too hot" the car also reduced the temperature.

Voice controls are awesome, but latency issues are one of the biggest complaints with infotainment systems. Mercedes took care of that by using the NVIDIA Parker 128 chip which is powerful enough to render 3D buildings (along with art to resemble the buildings in real life) and a revolving real-time rendering of whatever car it resides in on the 10-inch touchscreen.

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