April 22, 2017 - 13:31 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Owners of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles can now remotely turn on the engine by issuing the command "Alexa, start my car". The luxury vehicle maker has launched a new service that allows customers with 2016 and 2017 models to communicate with their cars using Google Home or Amazon Echo, Fortune reports.
In addition to remotely starting their vehicles, U.S. customers can activate various functions via voice commands; the service will be available in Europe later this year. For instance, by instructing Alexa to "ask Mercedes to send an address to the car," drivers will receive navigation input and point-of-interest requests.
"We want to offer our customers a broad range of services 24/7, not just when they are in our cars," said Nils Schanz, head of Internet of Things and Wearable Integration at the company's Silicon Valley-based research arm. "Mercedes-Benz's goal is creating an intelligent ecosystem around cars, and developing cutting-edge technology to make everyday life more convenient for our customers."
There are a few prerequisites: Drivers will need an active "Mercedes me" account and get an "mbrace" subscription, which provides access to connected car services. They'll also need to own a Google Home or Amazon Echo home automation device.
Mercedes' announcement follows the launch of similar services by automakers such as BMW, Ford, and Genesis.