Mercedes virtual tour guide is here to take on Google Maps

New Tourguide feature is part of the company’s MBUX Voice Assistant infotainment system

Mercedes tour guide
(Image credit: Mercedes)

We love a good road trip, but have to admit that hundreds of miles of motorway driving can get boring, especially for passengers.

Now, Mercedes thinks it has come up with a solution. Called Tourguide, the feature is a part of the company’s MBUX Voice Assistant infotainment system and points out interesting features as you drive along.

Only available on the German autobahn network for now, the system uses German’s brown highway signs, which provide information for passing tourists. Switch the system on, and each time you drive past a sign the car’s voice assistant will start talking about it.

Mercedes says the feature provides “extensive” information about nearby points of interest, and works with approximately 3,400 brown signs scattered across the country. The system is available via the Mercedes Me system in examples of the EQS, EQE, C-Class, S-Class and AMG SL cars produced from 1 June 2022, as well as the new GLC and EQS SUV.

The audio travel guide is initially only available in Germany, but Mercedes says it will be rolled out to other countries later. The feature is connected to the car’s navigation system, so if a local point of interest is mentioned, the driver can have the car direct them to it.

The system is switched on when the driver or a passenger says: “Hey Mercedes, start Tourguide”. It then switches off if the driver takes a break or leaves the autobahn.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.