The future starts now.
Always a step ahead.
Exclusively for visitors to the Consumer Electronics Show, Mercedes-Benz is taking an unconventional approach to showing the new C-Class, with an augmented reality app bringing the car to life on the show stand. The CES is the world’s most renowned and foremost show for entertainment electronics and Mercedes-Benz is offering the fascinated industry audience a comprehensive insight into current development projects and innovative technologies. “Everyone’s talking about autonomous driving functions – we’ve already got them in series production,” says Professor Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
'Many people want to use the latest communications capabilities in their car – for us, this has long been reality with 'digital drive style', be it with COMAND Online or via the Digital Drive Style app. Mercedes-Benz vehicles offer the highest possible levels of safety with maximum comfort. They are intelligently connected and well on the way to becoming digital, automotive companions.'
A concentrated package of technologies.
Alongside the virtual C-Class, Mercedes-Benz is also presenting the E-Class and the S-Class in real life at the CES. Thanks to the high rate of innovation at Mercedes-Benz, all three vehicles are bristling with driver assistance systems right through to partially autonomous driving functions like DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot. Mercedes-Benz calls this innovative combination of comfort and safety systems Intelligent Drive. With the aid of a comprehensive package of technologies, including stereo camera and multi-stage radar sensors, partially autonomous driving is today already a reality for Mercedes customers. Another vehicle highlight on the stand is the Concept S-Class Coupé. Its particularly impressive interior comes with a fully digital instrument panel and innovative operating concept.
Today, tomorrow, the day after.
Alongside the real and virtual vehicles at the CES, Mercedes-Benz is also giving an insight into the world of telematics and infotainment. An overview of the current Mercedes-Benz apps and the Digital Drive Style app including Car-to-X technology demonstrates the innovative strength of Mercedes-Benz. And wearable devices such as Google Glass and intelligent watches like the Pebble smartwatch can be integrated into the vehicle’s telematics system to give the customer added value. Mercedes-Benz is also demonstrating how it could be possible in future to access relevant vehicle data from home, with the Vehicle Home system.
With the Predictive User Experience prototype, Mercedes-Benz offers a look ahead to the revolutionary telematics and infotainment system of the future, revealing the innovations that will turn the vehicle of tomorrow into an intelligent, automotive companion, and how it will be able to recognise the wishes, moods and preferences of driver and passengers and proactively predict and simplify the next operating steps.
At the heart of innovation.
The Mercedes-Benz Research and Development headquarters in Silicon Valley is a centre of innovation. Ongoing work here includes the development of the premium infotainment and telematics solutions of the future and the seamless integration of technologies, applications and devices such as the Apple iPhone and Android smartphones into vehicles. Another main area of development and design at the Sunnyvale R&D centre is the creation of an all-round User Experience, with the aim of making the driver’s interaction with the vehicle as easy, pleasant and appealing as possible.
For some time, the MBRDNA headquarters has also been involved in adapting driver assistance systems for the US market. This whole area is now being expanded into a separate Research and Advance Development department, focussing on functions related to the technology of autonomous driving.
A meeting place for inventive talent and creative collaboration.
“We were the first car manufacturer to have a research facility in Silicon Valley,” says Professor Weber. “That’s because even back then we were aware that history was being made here not just in terms of the future of IT, but also the future of the automotive industry.” Silicon Valley, one of the most highly creative places in the world, may be best known as the home of ingenuity, but it also stands for a unique culture of collaboration: for short distances, networking, innovation and informal meetings. It’s hard to imagine anywhere else with this creative and open approach, with such opportunities for collaboration in areas including the internet, smartphones and apps on board the vehicle, and the vehicle in the Internet of Things.
The geographical proximity to companies like Google, Apple and Facebook as well as to small, creative start-ups, enables Mercedes-Benz to integrate innovations into its vehicles quickly, working in close collaboration with its partners, and to keep pace with phases of development in the world of entertainment electronics.
Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development already has a workforce of around 13,000 employed at 22 locations in 10 countries. Around 10,800 of them work in Germany. This international network is to undergo significant further expansion as part of the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. The focus is on the direct benefit to the customer resulting from greater innovative capacity and shorter development times. According to Professor Weber: “Establishing a close-knit network of R&D bases which ideally complement one another throughout the world will enable us to secure our vehicles’ technological leadership on a long-term basis, thereby also bolstering the competitive strength of the Group as a whole.”
New strategic partnerships such as those with the start-up companies Nest Labs and Pebble Technology will guarantee Mercedes-Benz exclusive early access to the latest hardware developments, enabling Mercedes-Benz developers to be the first to make use of software interfaces for automotive applications. How that might pan out is demonstrated by Mercedes-Benz, the world's first car manufacturer ever to exhibit at the CES.
Global Technology Innovator 2013.
Readers of German publications AUTO BILD and COMPUTER BILD have recognised the pioneering work of Mercedes-Benz by voting the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as the Best-Connected Vehicle of 2013 in a reader poll conducted jointly by both magazines for the Connected Car Award. Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive took first place in the category of Best Driver Assistance System for Safety. Mercedes-Benz is also being honoured with the Plus X Award for Global Technology Innovator 2013. Mercedes-Benz is receiving the Plus X Award for the Bertha Benz drive it undertook in summer of last year. The jury praised the first autonomous urban and cross-country road trip with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class equipped with close-to-production technology as a “milestone that showed the future of mobility, thus making it tangible.”