The inventor of the automobile redefines independence
"DICE" sculpture demonstrates revolutionary customer experience
"mbrace2" as world premiere at the Consumer Electronics Show
Stuttgart/Las Vegas - Networked access to information everywhere and at all times has become an indispensable part of daily life. That also goes for the time one spends in the car. And so consumer electronics and the automobile have become more and more tightly interlinked in recent years, because the objective of the two respective industries was and is the same: independence for the customer. Mercedes-Benz realizes this independence not only through the automobile itself. Rather, innovative telematics and infotainment systems in the vehicle and new mobility concepts afford still greater flexibility and freedom. Mercedes-Benz provides a visionary perspective with the "DICE" (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience) sculpture.
"Here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas there are some people who view the automobile as an accessory to consumer electronics. Conversely, at the auto show in Detroit there are many people who view consumer electronics as mere trimmings for the car. Both points of view miss the point: as much as a smartphone can be far more than just a tool for communication, a smart car can be more than just a means of transportation. Precisely at the interfaces between communication and mobility, vast potential for innovation lies dormant, and we intend to tap it," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Mercedes-Benz satisfies the growing customer need for independence with its telematics strategy @yourCOMAND: the car becomes a mobile communications center that enables driver and passengers to access all modern media and services at any time. Uncoupling from the conventional vehicle development cycles is achieved on the one hand through secure and comfortable integration of the smartphone in the vehicle, and on the other hand through the use of a consistently Cloud-based solution. This ensures that one is always in close touch with the rapid developments in the smartphone and computer world. Mercedes-Benz customers consequently always have access to the latest applications for comprehensive connectivity in their automobiles.
@yourCOMAND builds on four strategic pillars:
Digital Premium through Augmented Reality
With the DICE (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience) sculpture, at the CES Mercedes-Benz provides a vision of the interactive, intuitive and simultaneously safe operating experience in premium automobiles of the future. DICE impressively demonstrates how the vehicle becomes an intelligent mobility partner through bidirectional interaction.
"The intelligent car communicates not only with the driver, but also with other transportation modes and its entire environment in order to be able to assess all relevant information for a trip and make practical use of it immediately," says Zetsche.
The complete windshield becomes a brilliant head-up display; the dashboard, a display band. Digital information about the actual vehicle surroundings, points of interest, friends, pedestrians and other vehicles is presented there and a natural interaction by means of gestures is made possible. For this Mercedes-Benz uses a combination of Augmented Reality and natural gesture control to realize a completely new, exciting form of communication between people and their environment.
The interactive logic of the novel control concept is very imitative of intuitive human behavior. Along with functional aspects it now also involves emotional and social aspects and so creates a unique operating and driving experience. For example, when one drives past a club, by a simple movement of the hand one can transmit the music playing there by live stream into one's car. In the same way, local news from social networks, about points of interest, buildings or localities can be retrieved, or news can be left for others.
Vehicles approaching intersections will be virtually superimposed on the windshield to help avoid possibly hazardous situations. To simplify the search for a parking space, mobility concepts like car2go or network information, can be used to proactively identify spaces which will become vacant soon. These are virtually displayed on the windshield, showing the actual environment.
A world first is the context-dependent, place-related presentation of the menu contents "Media", "Social" and "Places" of the infotainment system as information swarm. Under "Social", for example, friends from one's social networks are shown in the 3-D city arranged underneath. The same goes for "Places", where the personal points of interest like restaurants or movie theaters can be stored. 3-D gestures and the swarm permit dynamic and intuitive control.
"Always on" with COMAND Online
Secure and comfortable internet access in the car already is offered by Mercedes-Benz today in numerous models: the multimedia system COMAND Online was introduced last year in Europe. It offers new functions like the innovative Mercedes-Benz Apps, for example Google Local Search including Google Street View and Panoramio, or Facebook. With mbrace2 in future they are available in the USA as well.
And for a sound experience on the highest level, Mercedes-Benz has introduced the new FrontBass system. The automaker thus revolutionizes the reproduction of bass sounds in the automobile – specifically in open roadsters. The unique FrontBass system which is premiering in the new SL and is being presented at the CES uses cavities in the aluminum bodyshell structures in front of the footwell as resonance volume for the bass loudspeakers. The result: crisp basses make a concert hall atmosphere possible even in an open-top car.
Independent, flexible and spontaneous with car2go
Tremendous technological advances and the stronger interlinkage of consumer electronics and the automobile have also made new mobility concepts possible. In particular, the introduction of mobile internet access exploits independence in the area of mobile services for new mobility concepts like car2go, which meet with correspondingly high demand and extend the urban transportation spectrum.
Thanks to the smartphone, not only is constant access to information of all kinds a reality, but also the possibility of communicating at any time, be it through speech input, email or in social networks. Accordingly, car2go allows customers to get hold of a vehicle at any time, whenever they need it.
The vehicles can be located through the internet, can be rented on the spur of the moment, used as long as one likes, and afterwards simply parked again in any public parking space within the city limits. Urban mobility couldn't be more spontaneous and flexible today.
car2go already is operating in seven cities worldwide and is scheduled to start in further cities. In North America car2go has taken up service in Austin, the capital of the State of Texas, in Vancouver, Canada, and in San Diego, California – in San Diego with a pure electric fleet consisting of 300 smart fortwo electric drive, making this America's first and biggest purely electrically operated car sharing fleet.
Always up to date
To make optimum use of consumer electronics' innovative power and fast time to market for the automobile industry, the company has been cooperating closely with this innovative sector for many years. This is because the market for infotainment and telematics systems is decisively influenced by developments in consumer electronics and the mobile telephony market. In 1995 Mercedes-Benz was thus the first carmaker to set up a research and development facility of its own in Palo Alto, California, and since then has a presence in Silicon Valley in the immediate vicinity of Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Yelp, Wikipedia and other important players. The collaboration with these companies is based on short communication channels and distinguished by close cooperation and joint product innovations with big customer benefits. The result, achieved in close cooperation with the Development units in Germany, is custom-tailored infotainment and telematics solutions which are optimally integrated into the overall vehicle design and enable customers to continue their digital lifestyle in the vehicle without interruption.