Now you can simply say “massage me” in the E-Class


Mercedes-Benz has “enhanced” its Linguatronic voice control system in the E-Class, so that the communication between you and your car will be more natural and human like. Pretty much like commanding your personal secretary, of course, if you have one.

For the first time, it allows not only the entertainment system but also few more features to be controlled by voice command. These include the air conditioning functions, for example. The blower level, temperature and seat heating can be controlled by voice command, with no need to take the hands off the steering wheel or the eyes off the traffic. The same also goes for the rear window heater and various comfort and lighting functions. Another new feature enables the driver to call up a wide range of information, such as the next service due date, current speed limit, current date or the vehicle’s range.

Linguatronic uses commands which are incorporated in the software and does not require an internet connection. Up to 450 voice commands are available, depending on the language version and the vehicle’s equipment. Mercedes explains that the commands are designed to be as simple, intuitive and natural as possible, so that drivers will usually phrase the appropriate commands and questions instinctively. For example, “navigate to xy” is sufficient to launch navigation to the next destination. “Call xy” triggers a call to the desired number and “massage me” initiates the seat’s massage function. Voice control can also be adapted to the user’s personal situation. If the driver’s home address and work address have been saved as favorites, for example, the commands “take me home” or “take me to work” will prompt the navigation system to guide the vehicle to these destinations.

Several hundred alternatives are stored in Linguatronic for each command, resulting in a high likelihood that the user will hit on the right phrase at the first attempt. As an additional support, a teleprompter presents possible commands on the display as soon as the driver presses the push-to-talk button.

Mercedes has tried to give the system a more “human touch”. The technology allows the user to interrupt the system’s voice output to halt the current dialogue and move on to the next dialogue. The system also avoids reacting to a command with the same answer, instead varies its response between three or four synonymous sentences.

Linguatronic has worked in eleven languages in the past. Eleven additional languages have now been added.

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