Mercedes-Benz is expanding all its 2016 and 2017 vehicles in the US for the popular virtual assistants, with select models now taking instructions from both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.
Starting today, Mercedes owners can instruct their Google Home or Amazon Echo to remotely start or lock their vehicles, as well as send addresses to their in-car navigation system. But a promo video by Mercedes shows a much more frightening use-case: using these digital voice assistants to compensate for incredibly stupid behavior, like leaving the house with both the iron and stovetops on at full blast.
It works through the automaker’s “Mercedes me” system, which already has smartphone apps and integration with select wearables. If you’re an Apple Watch wearer, for instance, you can use Mercedes me to unlock the car when you get near. Now, though, you can do that and more from the sofa.
For a start, there are the features that you’d expect normally to do from the car’s keyfob. Asking “Ok Google, tell Mercedes me to start my car” will get the engine running by the time you’re out the front door. “Alexa, tell Mercedes me to lock the car” can help assuage those “did I lock it or not?” paranoias.
“We want to offer our customers a broad range of services 24/7, not just when they are in our cars,” says Nils Schanz, head of Mercedes-Benz North America’s Internet of Things and Wearable Integration (how’s that for a title). “Mercedes-Benz’s goal is creating an intelligent ecosystem around cars and developing cutting-edge technology to make everyday life more convenient for our customers.”
Using your Echo and Google Home in conjunction with your Mercedes will involve more verbal gymnastics than if you were just using the smart home devices on their own. Let’s let Mercedes explain:
For instance, customers with Google devices can simply say, “Ok, Google, tell Mercedes me to start my car,” and it will remotely start the customer’s car. Another available feature includes remote lock. With Alexa devices, customers can say, “Alexa, ask Mercedes me to send an address to the car” for remote navigation input and point-of-interest requests. Mercedes-Benz customers will need an active Mercedes me account and an active mbrace subscription. In order to link their accounts, customers will have to download the Google Home or Amazon Alexa app and connect it with Mercedes me.
It doesn’t appear that Mercedes-Benz owners will be able to use Alexa or Google Home from inside their vehicles, but rather will use Mercedes’ in-car system to control those devices.
So, what do you think about this feature? Comment below and let us know about your views.
Via: The Verge
Cover Pic: Wired