Mercedes-Benz in a snowy location

AI added a signature touch to Mercedes-Benz—NLP. You can talk to your car like you would another human: ask it if you can wear sandals tomorrow, and it knows you’re asking about the weather. The system also offers you suggestions through its interface, predicting what you may want to do next based on your user history. Call your spouse? Search for a restaurant? All made easier with this new system.

Note: The video below has background noise because it’s straight from the show floor. If you think that’ll bother you, you may want to skip it.

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car gage

If you are worried about getting to your destination safely, you shouldn’t have much concern. If you are trying to get there quickly, you could have a frustrating experience.

Chevy notes that they are optimizing for safety above all else, and rightfully so. In a test drive of the autonomous Chevy Bolt, it never went above 30, sat patiently behind a garbage truck until it was absolutely sure it could pass, and took a roundabout in the most agonizingly slow way it could.

But, it was safe.

 

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Car with bright red break light on

No steering wheel. Seats that face each other. The ability to hail the computerized chauffer from an app. These are the goals of Zoox, one of the 50 companies that are allowed by permit to test autonomous cars in the state of California. And unlike many of its competitors, it is testing and optimizing for dense city driving.

Apparently, it does will letting pedestrians go first, and also at navigating tricky spots like four-way intersections.

But production-ready cars are still in the (near?) future. Read about Bloomberg’s sneak peek here.

Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev on Unsplash