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The Frustrating Flaw of the MBUX Intelligent Multimedia System in the New A-Class

Giancarlo Perlas July 2, 2018


The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) debuted in January at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas and it recently made its way to the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Its maker described it as an intuitive and intelligent multimedia system capable of processing various commands and recognizing various speech patterns. The system is activated by simply uttering, “Hey Mercedes.”

The Cool Part

The MBUX is a huge leap forward for Mercedes and a big benefit to their car users. Its basic functions are similar to Siri or Alexa. For example, if you say “Hey Mercedes” followed by “I’m cold”, the system will activate the car’s climate control. That’s pretty neat in terms of comfort and in helping the driver do away with minor distractions. However, a critical flaw in the system was uncovered by Carfection’s Drew Stearne.

The Frustrating Part

The new Carfection review shows Stearne being extra careful while driving and telling viewers about the A-Class—not because there are major safety or performance issues with it. Instead, every time Stearne would say the word “Mercedes”, MBUX would activate and wait for him to tell the car what he wants.

One instance was when Stearne mentioned “Mercedes” and had to say “call” in his next sentence. MBUX seemingly attempted to place a call on someone. We could see Stearne’s frustrations from here as he avoided mentioning the brand of the auto throughout the review as much as possible.

Of course, this particular MBUX issue would prove to be quite a hassle if you are riding with someone named “Mercedes”. If you had a daughter named Mercedes and you would have to call her attention most of the time, it’s the car that will respond to you first.

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