If you own a 2016 or 2017 model car from Mercedes-Benz in the US, you can now use either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa as your voice-activated helper. Google Assistant will work with the Google Home speaker, while Alexa will work with the Amazon Echo family of speakers.
The new features mean that owners of those luxury vehicles with one or both of those speakers will be able to say things like, “Ok, Google, tell Mercedes me to start my car” while at home, and the car will start before the owner gets to the garage. The digital assistants can also be asked to remotely lock the cars or offer navigation tips to destinations. In the video above, the owners can even remotely control smart home devices while driving around, so things like lights, air conditioning and more are turned off back at the house.
In addition to requiring the use of a Google Home or an Amazon Echo speaker, the new digital assistant features from Mercedes-Benz also require car owners to have an active “Mercedes me” account. It also needs an active Mbrace subscription, which normally costs $280 a year (if you can afford one of these cars, you likely can also afford this subscription as well). The car maker says the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support will be added in Europe sometime later in 2017.