Mercedes-Benz Adds Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa to New Models

Are infotainment systems about to get a lot easier for drivers?

In order to make vehicle infotainment life easier for Mercedes-Benz drivers, the brand has opted to add Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa into all 2016 and 2017 Mercedes-Benz vehicles. This means owners can interact, start and ready their vehicle while still in their home. As you can see in the video below, the home concierge devices will transfer their abilities into the car, but only to an extent. Both Google Assistant and Alexa will send prompts to the Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, but owners can not interact with Google Assistant or Alexa from inside their car—they can only click yes or no. 

Although these digital helpers are a welcomed addition to the modern infotainment system, they could potentially be viewed as an additional distraction. If Alexa or Google Assistant could become a substitute for convoluted and distracting infotainment systems, then the automotive world might be finally moving in the right direction. However, the video makes it look like the installation of these programs just add one more feature to the system.

When people hear “distracted driving,” the average Joe generally thinks of cellphone use, applying make-up, eating, or pretty much the use of anything not attached to their vehicle. However, distracted driving can also be the use of anything on the dashboard or center console that requires you to take your eyes off the road to use. If Mercedes-Benz and other manufacturers continue with Alexa and Google Assistant, The Drive hopes they will consider allowing voice commands from the driver to further reduce distracted driving incidents.