First-look into a new Infotainment System from Mercedes-Benz, MBUX, powered with voice-enabled AI from SoundHound Inc.

September 14, 2018

Mercedes-Benz has integrated Houndify™ by SoundHound Inc., one of the leading innovators in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, into its latest infotainment system Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) in the U.S. The advanced user experience now enables customized voice control with natural language understanding and will be available in Mercedes-Benz A-Class vehicles on the North American market.

“Mercedes-Benz believes in creating state-of-the art user experiences for the customer. The new A-Class is set to deliver on that with MBUX,” said Sajjad Khan, Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Mercedes-Benz. “Partnering with SoundHound Inc. and integrating such a natural, conversational voice interface in our vehicles, allows the driving experience to become even more intuitive.”

The voice control is a hybrid system: it uses both onboard software to control the vehicle operations, including lighting, or activation of head-up display and the cloud, and understands speech to respond to the user’s requests. SoundHound Inc.’s patented Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding cloud-based technologies provide unprecedented speed and accuracy in the vehicle’s speech recognition and responses. Another strength of the advanced Houndify technology is its ability to understand complex sentences, as well as context, to provide natural interactions.

The cloud based integration of SoundHound enables some new and more complex use cases with MBUX specifically for the U.S. market:

  • Local Search intent/provider integration: “Hey Mercedes, I’m hungry, show kid friendly Italian restaurants in San Francisco with 4 or more stars that have free WIFI and free parking.”
  • Sports: “Hey Mercedes, how did the Giants play?”
    “Hey Mercedes, what’s the score of the last 49ers game?”
  • Stock market news: “Hey Mercedes, compare the stock price of Apple to Facebook.”
  • Conversions/Calculations: “Hey Mercedes, what are 10 dollars in Rupees?”
    “Hey Mercedes, what is the square root of 3?”
  • General questions: “Hey Mercedes, what is the size of Texas?”
    “Hey Mercedes, what is the fat content of an avocado?”
  • Time zones: “Hey Mercedes, what’s the time difference between San Francisco and Berlin?”
    “Hey Mercedes, what time is it in Shanghai when it’s 2PM here?”

Further possible commands are now also available in North America with MBUX:

  • What3Words integration: “Hey Mercedes, navigate to the 3 word address funded.legend.panic.”
  • HERE maps integration: “Hey Mercedes, navigate to 309 N. Pastoria Ave, Sunnyvale.”

This integration comes on the heels of a strategic investment by Daimler AG in SoundHound Inc., an experienced start-up from Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, beginning this year, as the two companies increase their focus on continued innovation across voice technology and connected cars.

The A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the new MBUX, a highly personalized and configurable user interface. All aspects of the interface, including the voice control, are capable of learning and adapting to suit the individual user. Additionally, the software models on the server learn new buzzwords and adapt to the changing use of language with time. The system also no longer answers stereotypically, but varies in the dialogue output, too.

Houndify technologies represent more than a decade of R&D and innovation by SoundHound Inc., resulting in unique advantages and making it one of the smartest and most accurate voice AI platform in the market.