Almost all manufacturers now offer speech activated assistants in their cars and now Mercedes-Benz owners can get it too. Specific to 2016 and 2017 models only, the owners can now ask Google’s or Amazon's in-home digital assistants to help them handle car-related tasks, for instance, lock their vehicle remotely or look up a coffee shop address and send it to a vehicle's navigation system.
Longer term, Mercedes owners will be able to use a Mercedes-created digital assistant inside the car, though company researchers are still figuring out what should be controlled by in-car voice commands and how long it will take to add such a feature. Mercedes launched phase one of its new service in late April by enabling the use of the Amazon and Google assistants. Mercedes customers who own the devices need only to download the Google Home or Amazon Alexa apps and connect their Mercedes Me accounts. Mercedes Me is a package of services and products from Mercedes that also offers vehicle owners access to their cars via a smartphone app.
In addition to locking vehicles or sending navigation info, users can activate other functions using natural speech commands. For instance, customers can say, "OK, Google, tell Mercedes Me to start my car," and the car will remotely start. Mercedes is launching the service in the U.S. first because adoption rates of in-home digital assistants are high. The company plans to introduce the service in Europe this year and is working on solutions for Asia.