Skip to main content

Mercedes-Benz introduces MBUX, bringing ChatGPT to the in-car experience

Mercedes Benz MBUX brings ChatGPT to your car

Mercedes-Benz MBUX steering wheel with multiple control button layers.
Mercedes-Benz / Mercedes-Benz

At CES 2024, Mercedes-Benz gave attendees a preview of the automaker’s enriched machine-and-person experiences. Running on the in-house developed MB.OS, the primary elements of the Mercedes-Benz vehicle experience are the enhanced ChatGPT voice control generative AI MBUX Virtual Assistant and MBUX Surround Navigation. Mercedes-Benz is also expanding content, entertainment, and productivity apps based on customer needs and preferences.

Mercedes-Benz MBUX photo from passenger seat showing steering wheel with driver information screens, large center infotainment display, and streaming selections on passenger display.
mercedes-Benz / Mercedes-Benz

Why Mercedes-Benz MBUX matters

When OpenAI released ChatGPT 4.0 in November 2022, the useful but often perplexing application was a wake-up call of the potential functions of generative AI, particularly Large Language Models (LLMs) that generate responsive text. MBUX virtual assistant combines ChatGPT-based generative AI with additional software that learns from customer actions and preferences to create highly personalized personal assistants.

Other automakers like Volkswagen have also announced development efforts to integrate generative AI in their upcoming vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is focused on differentiating the brand with what the brand calls “a hyper-personalized user experience.”

Mercedes-Benz MBUX photo from passenger seat showing steering wheel with driver information screens, large center infotainment display, and 3D graphics on passenger screen.
Mercedes-Benz / Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz MBUX Virtual Assistant

Customers can tailor the MBUX Virtual Assistant with four personality traits: Natural, Predictive, Personal, and Empathetic. The assistant uses situational context, learned behavior, and generative AI to offer suggestions proactively based on the driver’s actions, statements, and moods.

In addition to voice interactions, MBUX augments conversations with 3D animations created by Unity’s game engine that vary movement, brightness, intensity, and color.

Mercedes-Benz MBUX center display expanded with multiple meal and menu options in restaurant search.
Mercedes-Benz / Mercedez-Benz

MBUX Surround Navigation

To enhance the driver experience, MBUX adds a new dimension to conventional navigation apps by adding relevant situational content surrounding the vehicle. For example, the display might use 3D graphics to indicate hazards ahead, pedestrians walking alongside the car, or the traffic ahead. Combining route guidance and other content detected by vehicle sensors, the driver will ‘see what the car sees,’ according to Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedez-Benz MBUX and expanded in-car connectivity, productivity, and entertainment content.
Mercedes-Benz / Mercedes-Benz

MBUX Content and Collectibles

Mercedes-Benz uses over-the-air (OTA) updates to add features, apps, and content based on driver actions, past selections, and regional preferences. Mercedes-Benz currently supports Zoom and WebEx video conferencing in new E-Class vehicles and will add support for Microsoft Teams meetings during Q1 2024. Another upcoming addition this year will be Sony Picture Entertainment’s (SPE) RIDEVU service, which provides access to a curated library of films for streaming, including controls specific to the vehicle.

Mercedes also introduced MBUX Collectibles, an in-car app that creates a private art gallery of digital art and NFT collectibles. The app can connect to the customer’s digital wallet and can also display other collections.

CES attendees were able to preview Mercedes-Benz MB.OS in four Concept CLA Class vehicles. The MB.OS demonstrations on a three-display MBUX Superscreen depicted apps in four domains: Infotainment, Automated Driving, Body & Comfort, and Driving & Charging, all with chip-to-cloud connectivity, which facilitates keeping the apps and content updated.

Mercedes-Benz showcased MB.OS, the MBUX Virtual Assistant, MBUX Surround Navigation, and MBUX Collectibles, which indicate its intentions for user hyper-personalization in the future. Mercedes-Benz did not provide a time frame for the release other than stating that it will begin with vehicles built with the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA) platform.

Topics
Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow race car made history 90 years ago
The white Mercedes-Benz W 25 was too heavy, so it lost the paint and won the race
Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow W25 single-seat race car on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Mercedes-Benz has a rich history of legendary cars on and off the track. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing may be the German brand's most famous road car ever. The single-seat Mercedes-Benz W 25, also called the Silver Arrow, was the first of many race-winning cars with the same name. Even today, Mercedes Formula 1 cars are called "Silver Arrows," but the original 1934 Silver Arrow set the standard for the Mercedes-Benz racers that followed. It's been 90 years since this race car made its debut at the Eifel Race at the Nürburgring on June 3. Let's take a look back.
Why the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow race car matters today

The W 25 wasn't supposed to be silver. Actually, as was the case for most German racing cars, the W 25 was painted white. At the mandatory weigh-in before its first competition at the 1934 Eifel Race at the Nürburgring on June 3, 1934, however, the car was one kilogram heavier than the 750-kilogram limit. According to Mercedes-Benz lore, the night before the race, the team ground the paint of the W 25's aluminum skin. When the car rolled to the starting line, it was the correct weight.

Read more
2025 BMW M3: Sixth-generation performance car gains power, poise, and ferocity
BMW once again jacks up the performance of the M3 Sedans
2025 BMW M3 Competition (European model) front view on a country road.

Welcome to the sixth-generation BMW M3 sedans.

If you thought BMW M3 Sedans were already wild and crazy enough for drivers committed to wringing the most from production performance cars, you might want to sit down before you read further. The new M3s will be here this summer, and, in BMW's own words, "The BMW M3 has sharpened its already impressive skills in a host of areas."

Read more
Report: The car brands that cost the least (and most) to maintain
Turns out Teslas aren't just cheap on fuel
Red Tesla Model 3 Performance facing straight on parked on dark metal plates with a dark wall in the background.

Buying a car can be expensive, but the costs don’t stop when you drive one off the lot. You also need to spend a significant amount keeping that vehicle in good working order. However, some brands cost less to maintain than others, and it turns out that Tesla produces some of the cheapest vehicles on the road as far as long term expenditure is concerned.

A study by Consumer Reports discovered that Teslas only cost the average owner just over $4,000 in maintenance over a ten-year period. In the first year, maintenance costs are expected to set owners back around $580, while they can expect to have spent around $3,455 keeping their vehicle in good condition after five years. You’re also unlikely to be hit with a heavy repair bill early on as Tesla, like most other manufacturers, has a warranty covering the first few years of a vehicle’s life.

Read more