Mercedes Benz has long been a presence in Silicon Valley, and for the last 20 years, they have worked with some of the biggest names in tech, research, and development. Ever looking into the future, Mercedes-Benz has prided itself on innovation and forward thinking. From some of the very first automobiles ever made, Mercedes-Benz has been on the cusp of new technology, and today it is no different.
In 1995, Mercedes-Benz opened a research and development center in Silicon Valley, and they were the first automobile firm to do so. This enabled Mercedes to be in the place where invention and creativity go hand in hand, and it also put them in a place where they were able to easily collaborate with others.
Their goal is to develop products and services that will enhance their consumers’ driving experiences. Mercedes has been working on autonomous driving, the driverless cars that are able to maneuver around obstacles based on information that they take in from their environment.
Working with Apple
Mercedes has been working together with Apple on synchronizing driverless technology with the Apple Watch. The person wearing the Apple Watch can press a button and then say ‘restaurant’. The watch will show him or her a selection of restaurants, and they can choose which one they would like.
Upon entering the car, the display will have the information from the Apple Watch on the screen, as the two are in sync with each other. Then, the driver only has to turn the key, and the car will take him or her to the location of their choosing.
Mercedes also has engineered their infotainment system to work in tandem with the Apple Smartphone. Drivers are able to select music-playing apps, they can send text messages, and can take phone calls using SIRI’s voice recognition software.
In addition, they will have access to software that will help them get to where they are going. Apple’s offering is called CarPlay, and it syncs up to a car’s dash through by plugging in the user’s Smartphone.
Mercedes-Benz has also done business with the heavyweight tech giant, Google, in developing digital assistance that is integrated with your automobile. The idea behind this is to have access to control systems within the car while the user is at home.
For example, someone could check their fuel levels with the touch of a button, or they could turn on the heat, possibly to warm up their car on a winter day. Also, consumers can lock and unlock their vehicles from inside their homes. The program, called the Companion App, resides on a user’s phone, and it can communicate with their vehicle.
Other Projects and Collaborations
Mercedes-Benz has also worked with Nest on creating a way for drivers to control their home’s thermostat while away on an adventure. The idea behind this is that much electricity is wasted by heating and cooling homes while they are unoccupied and that consumers can reduce the environmental impact by controlling this output when they are away from home.
This feature is designed to work on an automated dashboard interface so that drivers will not be tempted to give attention to their phones while driving. Nest is a tech company that builds smart technologies for the home that include smoke detectors, temperature control, outdoor cameras, lighting, and electrical outlets.
The Pebble smartwatch is another innovation that Mercedes has worked to integrate into their DriveStyle app. It will give people access to information while they are behind the wheel of their car and while they are at home. Drivers can see if there is an accident up ahead, and it can let people know if there are hazardous conditions on the road.
In addition, the app can inform drivers of stalled vehicles and altered driving patterns due to construction. It can remotely tell its owner the vehicle’s fuel levels, location, and whether or not the doors have been locked, and it also uses SIRI voice activated commands.