July 14, 2020

When you think about Mercedes-Benz, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Maybe you think about the logo.  It could be about the sleek appearance, inside and out.  The performance.  Or maybe you think about firsts, such as receiving the first patent for the modern automobile.  Personally, I think about how they are the first automaker who brought a term dear to me – user experience (UX) – into the vocabulary of their buyers and their dealers.  With the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), they deliver a holistic solution that UX experts in any industry can look at with pride: each piece of the technology is carefully assembled, never an afterthought.  We at Cerence are proud to be a part of it.

In user experience, we aim to build technology that pleases.  Experiences that are effortless.  And with every partner, we create experiences that get people excited about buying a new car from their favorite automaker.  When we do this right, our users build emotional connections.  Many drivers can attest to this, given that they name their cars, wash them by hand, and feel nostalgia and sadness when they trade it in for a new one.  People have even been known to talk to their cars long before voice assistants.  Now, they speak back.

This is exciting!  While we started with voice to keep drivers safe, we’ve moved to a time where voice offers much more.  You can do more than make phone calls and get directions.  You can ask the car about your tire pressure, or how to use new features, or (famously) ask it to tell you a joke.  Just take a look at the new features coming to the next generation of MBUX. Even if you don’t fall in love with your voice assistant (you should watch Her sometime…), it is another way to connect with your vehicle.  It is the digital heart and soul of the car, and one that gets refined and grows over time.

At Cerence, we believe putting the user experience first will continue to result in voice assistants that drivers come to love.  Working with Mercedes-Benz for MBUX reinforced our view that they believe this, too.  Our UX experts work directly with theirs on a regular basis, instead of throwing things over the wall, relying on user studies and data.  Equally important, we take a step back every now and then to figure out what we can do differently to make a better product. The result? One of the most personalized, intelligent and intuitive experiences on the road today, a true revolution in the cockpit. I encourage you to check out some of the highlights of the new MBUX here.

The next generation of MBUX will soon be in the hands of drivers, beginning with the launch of the S-Class this fall.  We’re thrilled to work with our friends and partners at Daimler AG to create a voice-powered user experience we can all be proud of.

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