Mercedes-Benz owners will find things a lot easier thanks to Amazon Echo's Alexa and Google Home's Google Assistant. The two digital assistants now allow owners of the luxury cars to talk to their cars.
While this feature is nowhere near how David Hasselhoff's iconic Michael Knight character conversed with KITT, the innovation does present a lot of possibilities for car owners everywhere. However, the technology is limited right now to 2016 and 2017 Mercedes-Benz models.
According to Fortune, the Mercedes owners can ask Alexa or Google Assistant to ask their cars to do a number of tasks. For one, owners can get a head start by asking the AI to tell the car to start its engine. Other possible tasks include getting directions or a specific address and sending them to the vehicle. The service, which will be available all day all night, will initially be offered in the United States. Mercedes owner in Europe will get the feature later this year.
As Engadget reported, Mercedes owners need to have an active Mercedes Me account before enjoying the new feature. They also need to have a subscription to the company's smartphone platform called mbrace. The platform is free for the first six months and will cost $199 for each year after that. With mbrace and Mercedes Me on hand, the car owners then need to connect the account to their Google or Amazon credentials on the smartphone.
Mercedes-Benz and Google have been working for quite some time now on integrating the latter's digital assistant on the former's cars. As a matter of fact, Mercedes-Benz announced in December last year that it has plans to turn its vehicles into smart cars with the help of a Google Home-integrated car system. The system worked by first triggering Google Home with the wake word "Ok Google" followed by "Let me talk to my Mercedes". Afterward, the car owner can talk to Google Assistant and ask it for directions or if the car is locked or when its next tune-up or regular service is.