Stuttgart/Barcelona. Mercedes-Benz's showing at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona being held from 27 February to 2 March is all about CASE: "Connected", "Autonomous", "Shared & Service" and "Electric Drive". Under the umbrella of the cross-Daimler digitisation strategy, the inventor of automobile is showcasing products, initiatives and the latest innovations from its research and development activities.
Daimler is driving digital transformation forward at the Mobile World Congress too with DigitalLife@Daimler: besides the show stand with its wealth of innovations and products and the intriguing sessions at both the conference and the 4YFN startup event, the DigitalLife Café offers an open platform for collective dialogue. One of the real highlights at the MWC is the Live Talks with experts from various Daimler AG business units. Sascha Pallenberg, one of the very first tech bloggers, hosts the Inspiration Talks that will take place three times daily and focus on digital services, trends and the culture of innovation.
"For us, digitisation is an important instrument for shaping the future of mobility. The Mobile World Congress provides a powerful international platform for dialogue with industrial experts from the worlds of both hardware and software. With its thrilling atmosphere of innovation, the MWC inspires us to keep shaping the future of mobility together with the digital avant-garde," emphasises Wilko Andreas Stark, Head of Daimler Strategy & Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Strategy and Planning.
Hackathon participants from the DigitalLife Campus series are also getting involved. The ten coders of the current Hack-on-Bus Tour will present their results. This forms the final of the DigitalLife Campus 2016 – an initiative that is accompanying Daimler on its journey towards digital transformation with various unconventional formats. The participants from the "DigitalLife Campus" hackathon series will furthermore show what they have achieved on the drive from Stuttgart to Barcelona in their specially equipped tour bus in response to the challenge they were set: programming a driverless RoboCab made from Lego components. The tour bus set off from Stuttgart towards Barcelona on Saturday with the international team of participants on board.
Experience the car of tomorrow today
Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating the virtual reality experience at the MWC with the help of two examples. Firstly, visitors can experience the drive technology, design and connectivity features of the Concept EQ show car up close with the help of VR goggles. And secondly, the complete digital configuration of a production vehicle provides customers with a realistic means of familiarising themselves with their dream vehicle in detail long before they actually buy it. Interaction icons make it easy to modify details of the specification – such as the wheels, paint finish or interior colour scheme. A prototype version of the VR installation is already in use in Germany and Great Britain.
In addition, Mercedes-Benz will be demonstrating the next steps on the road to developing the cognitive car, while "Fit&Healthy" will provide a vision of how society's growing health consciousness can be intelligently combined with future mobility. Mercedes me also has an important role to play at the show. Comprehensive smartphone integration? Checking information such as the fuel level? No problem at all with Mercedes me connect. Smartphones are able to double as a door opener – at any time. As many as four virtual vehicle keys can be activated from a smartphone.
Cult brand smart is demonstrating at the MWC how vehicles can enhance user convenience in ways that extend beyond just the pure mobility aspect. For example, it is unveiling its new, innovative "smart ready to share" service. This service allows smart customers to share their vehicles with friends, colleagues or relations when they are not using them themselves. The technical basis is provided by the smart "ready to" app in conjunction with a Connectivity Box behind the windscreen, which allows keyless access to the vehicle. The "smart ready to drop" service offering parcel delivery straight to the car boot that is already undergoing pilot testing works via this box too.
Always on: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé
Traffic information in real time? Car-to-X communication? But of course! With COMAND Online, being presented at the MWC in the brand new E‑Class Coupé. Inside the car, drivers have a multitude of connectivity options at their fingertips that they already use in their daily lives. "Live Traffic" helps to ensure optimum, dynamic route guidance with precisely calculated arrival times while delivering accurate traffic information in real time. In addition to this, Live Traffic Information gathers and transfers large quantities of traffic data from various sources, including "floating car data" technology, for example.
Digital services: connected via many channels
Digital connectivity also means being able to control your vehicle's connectivity when you're not actually in it. The notion of online access to vehicles opens the door to new business models that go far beyond just vehicle production and sales, not least in the area of mobility services – such as the moovel mobility platform, for example.
In the commercial vehicle segment, Mercedes-Benz Trucks was quick to recognise the need for connectivity and its benefits, and launched the FleetBoard telematics system back in 2000. FleetBoard is presenting the new FleetBoard Store for apps at the MWC. This is a platform that has been deliberately designed to be open so that industry partners, such as bodybuilders, as well as app developers can submit useful apps that serve to make the haulage sector as a whole even more efficient. The apps in the FleetBoard Store can be used not just in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but in all brands of truck. The applications access real-time data if required and run on the removable DispoPilot.guide driver tablet from FleetBoard.
Mercedes PRO is the new brand from Mercedes-Benz Vans for all current and future customer services, solutions and digital services for our van customers' day‑to-day business. A web-based platform provides existing and prospective customers with direct access to mobility, connectivity, financing and fleet solutions, as well as networked product offerings that go far beyond the classic van. A selected range of services will be available at first, which will be continuously expanded and eventually individually adapted for each customer.
Mobility at your fingertips
The mobility brands moovel, mytaxi and car2go are also at the show. With 2.2 million customers at 26 locations, car2go is the global market leader in the field of flexible car sharing. Vehicles are located, booked and paid for solely by means of a smartphone.
Also featuring at the MWC is the mytaxi taxi hailing app, the first app in the world to allow a direct link to be established between passenger and taxi driver with a simple tap on the smartphone. With over 10 million downloads worldwide and 100,000 registered taxi drivers, it is the leading taxi hailing app in Europe and is currently available in over 50 cities in ten European countries.
The aim of moovel is to allow people access to urban mobility anytime and anywhere. In Germany, moovel is the world's first app that can be used to search for, book and pay for a host of mobility services. In the USA, moovel transit is the leading provider of mobile ticketing solutions for transport operators. A ticket is sold via moovel apps every two seconds.