Google Cloud and Mercedes-Benz deepen partnership to power new customer experiences with AI

Posted on 11 Apr 2024 by The Manufacturer

Google Cloud has announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Mercedes-Benz, helping the automaker transform key customer experiences with AI and generative AI (gen AI) technologies on Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform.

Mercedes will infuse cutting-edge e-commerce capabilities into its online storefront with a gen AI-powered smart sales assistant, and new Google-quality search and recommendations capabilities. The company also plans to expand its use of Google Cloud AI to make its call center experience more seamless and helpful, and will leverage AI and gen AI tools, including Vertex AI and Google’s Gemini models, to make its marketing campaigns more personalized and relevant to customers worldwide.

“Partnering with the very best in their respective fields is an important part of our software strategy – Google is the perfect example of that. With Google Cloud, Mercedes-Benz is building new ways to deliver the most intelligent vehicles to our customers and to create personalized, intuitive experiences,” said Ola Källenius, Chief Executive Officer, Mercedes-Benz.

With the process of buying a car increasingly involving online research and shopping, Google Cloud’s AI technologies will help Mercedes-Benz transform its e-commerce approach and make its online storefronts a natural extension of the showroom floor. In 2024, Mercedes plans to use  Google’s Gemini models to deploy a new, smart sales assistant on its websites. The Mercedes-Benz Virtual Assistant (MVA) will be able to converse in natural language, helping shoppers find a car model that fits their needs, schedule a test drive, or even start a purchase. The automaker will also explore Google Cloud’s Vertex AI Search offering to embed Google-quality search and recommendations capabilities directly into its websites, making it even easier for consumers to search and shop.

With improved e-commerce functionalities, consumers will be able to use both the smart sales assistant or the search bar on Mercedes’ website to easily find relevant car models and products through broad or nuanced queries like “Newest EV models that seat five people,” or “2024 red wagon.” The Mercedes-Benz Virtual Assistant (MVA) is now deployed in European markets including the UK and Germany. Rollout of the smart sales assistant to websites is planned for Europe and overseas in 2024.

“Mercedes-Benz has a long history of using technology to create exceptional experiences for their customers,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “We’re excited to help them apply Google’s advanced AI to engage with customers in new ways from improving customer service to optimizing their website experience, with much more to come from this collaboration in the future.”

For the past six months, Mercedes has also deployed Google Cloud’s conversational AI technology, Dialogflow, into its U.S. call centers. Having handled more than a million calls since launch, automated agents have been effectively helping Mercedes customers in more than 30 languages more easily get information on their lease, navigate a payment, or start an upgrade. Building on the successes seen in the United States, Mercedes plans to expand its use in further markets. The move to embed conversational AI into its call center experience will also help Mercedes’ service agents spend more time assisting customers with complicated requests that need a human touch.

Finally, Mercedes-Benz has also been leveraging Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform to maximize the value of its customer data, which it manages with Google Cloud’s data warehouse platform, BigQuery. The automaker has been using AI to enhance its website experience in the United States with personalized content, driven by better audience segmentation.

Mercedes-Benz is also leveraging Google Cloud technologies as it builds its next generation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Mercedes’ Next Generation Internal Development and Test Platform for autonomous driving will use Google Cloud as its backbone, helping Mercedes’ product development to become even more efficient and flexible. Google Cloud’s ability to process massive amounts of data and scale AI workloads will also help make its vehicles even more intelligent and AI-driven.

Today’s announcement marks a new phase of the strategic partnership between Google and Mercedes-Benz, which began in February 2023, when Mercedes-Benz selected Google Maps Platform as the foundation for its own branded navigation experience; today, more than three million customers have access to reliable Place Details provided by Google in their Mercedes vehicles. The partnership has also included YouTube as part of the Mercedes infotainment experience, and the carmaker leveraging a number of Google Cloud’s AI, data, and open infrastructure solutions.

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