Guest Post: AI Needs to Reside in the Vehicle to Work Well

Mercedes is running a beta program where those that opt in will be able to access ChatGPT from their vehicle by interacting with the voice assistant already present in MBUX-equipped vehicles. But rather than the cloud-based service that Mercedes is going with today, it should be looking at implementing ChatGPT directly in the vehicle. 

  • Mercedes owners in the US can enroll for the program by accepting an update for their car. 
  • The test is due to run for three months and is being supported by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, which is an API to which clients can connect their services to have generative AI functionality. 
  • Mercedes is able to implement this service very easily because all it is really doing is providing a prompt for the vehicle assistant to fill in, send it to the cloud and then read out the results. 
  • This means that all of the inference or processing of the request will be done in the cloud with the voice assistant doing nothing more than acting as a front end to provide the voice functionality. 
  • The vehicle is a use case where generative AI could have a disproportionately large impact. This is because a touch-based icon grid is a substandard user experience no matter who provides it. 
  • The problem that the car makers have is that their icon grid is much worse than Apple, Gooxgle or Tesla. 
  • Furthermore, in 2016 and 2017 we concluded that voice was the leading contender to improve the digital experience in the vehicle but that voice was not good enough to create an acceptable user experience. 
  • This is why vehicles are still limping along with smartphones embedded in the dashboard. 
  • We have also concluded that generative AI represents a significant step forward in the ability of machines to communicate with humans and provide a user interface for a digital service. 
  • Consequently, generative AI offers a significant opportunity for vehicle makers to win back the digital initiative that they have ceded to the digital ecosystems. 
  • This is extremely important as vehicle makers’ ability to monetize the market for in-vehicle digital service will be contingent on their ability to remain relevant in the digital vehicle experience. 
  • This is why Apple and Google are coming aggressively after the vehicle and so far, the OEMs have mounted feeble resistance or offered complete capitulation. 
  • The problem with this approach is that the only way to implement generative AI effectively in the vehicle is to put it directly in the vehicle. 
  • This is because reliability and speed are critical, and in this example when the network goes, the service goes with it. 
  • Furthermore, it is unlikely that there will be any real integration with the vehicle, meaning that telling ChatGPT that one is feeling hot is likely to result in silence rather than the air-conditioner being turned up. 
  • Using ChatGPT as the benchmark implementation in the vehicle will have a profound impact on the cost of the vehicle’s electronics as well as its power consumption which in an EV is a deal breaker. 
  • There are rapid developments going on in the open-source community that may make this a lot easier to achieve, but implementing large language models outside of the data center remains a work in progress. 
  • Despite the current limitations, the potential for generative AI to help OEMs to overcome their digital shortcomings is substantial and represents one of the best opportunities the OEMs have had for a long time. 
  • The risk is that if no one uses it as a result of the way the Mercedes experiment is implemented, it will lead to the (wrong) conclusion that putting it in the vehicle is a waste of time. 
  • This would lead to the squandering of another opportunity, resulting in digital irrelevance and greater commoditization. 
  • We remain pretty pessimistic about the outlook for the OEMs. 

(This guest post was written by Richard Windsor, our Research Director at Large.  This first appeared on Radio Free Mobile. All views expressed are Richard’s own.) 

Related Posts

Richard is our research director at large and also founder, owner of research company, Radio Free Mobile. He has 16 years of experience working in sell side equity research. During his recent tenure at Nomura Securities, he focused on the equity coverage of the Global Technology sector. He had covered Global Telecom Equipment covering companies such as Nokia, Motorola, Lucent, Qualcomm, Ericsson, Filtronic, Alcatel-Lucent amongst others. Later, Richard began looking at Handset software and became an industry leader in the space. He shifted from direct stock coverage to covering technology on a global scale, taking on responsibility of the complete technology ecosystem. His firm Radio Free Mobile is a partner firm of Counterpoint Research and covers the digital mobile ecosystem, accessing and comparing all of the global ecosystems.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.