This blog will expand on themes and topics first mentioned in my book, "The Automobile and American Life." I hope to comment on recent developments in the automobile industry, reviews of my readings on the history of the automobile, drafts of my new work, contributions from friends, descriptions of the museums and car shows I attend and anything else relevant to those interested in automobiles and auto history. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 , 2016 by the author.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Mercedes at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada. Exclusively for visitors to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES, January 7 – 10, 2014) Mercedes-Benz is taking an unconventional approach to showing the new C-Class. An augmented reality app brings the car to life on the show stand, providing visitors with a digital preview of the vehicle prior to its world premiere at the Detroit Motor Show.
The CES is the world’s most renowned and foremost show for entertainment electronics. Starting tomorrow in the North Hall, Mercedes-Benz will provide the fascinated industry audience with a comprehensive insight into current development projects and innovative technologies.
“Everyone is talking about autonomous driving functions - we already have them in series production. 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 DriveStyle app,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Management Board Member of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “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.”
C-E-S@CES: The Mercedes-Benz Show Stand in Las Vegas
Alongside the virtual C-Class, Mercedes-Benz is also presenting the E 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 partly 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, partly autonomous driving is today already a reality for Mercedes customers.
On the first day of the show, Mercedes-Benz is showcasing another vehicle highlight on the stand - the Concept S-Class Coupé. Its particularly impressive interior comes with a fully digital instrument panel and innovative operating concept. For instance, driver and passengers in the Concept S-Class Coupé no longer have to waste time searching through their digital music libraries. MoodGrid software, integrated into the vehicle in cooperation with Gracenote, compiles a selection from around 18 million songs in the cloud. This selection is designed specifically to suit the chosen mood and the individual taste of those listening.
Today, Tomorrow and the Day After – Insights into Telematics and Infotainment at Mercedes-Benz
Alongside real and virtual vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz show stand also offers insights into the world of telematics and infotainment. Visitors can enjoy an overview of current Mercedes-Benz apps and test the Digital DriveStyle app complete with car-to-x technology. Mercedes-Benz development engineers are also demonstrating how “wearable devices” like Google Glass or intelligent watches like the Pebble smart watch can be integrated into the vehicle telematics system to provide the customer with added value. Mercedes-Benz is also demonstrating how, in future, relevant vehicle data could be accessed conveniently from home via Vehicle Home.
With the “Predictive User Experience” prototype, Mercedes-Benz offers a look ahead to the revolutionary telematics and infotainment system of the future. Starting tomorrow on the Mercedes-Benz stand at the CES in Las Vegas, you can find out all about the innovations that will turn the vehicle of the future into an intelligent, automotive companion, how it will be able to recognize the desires, moods and preferences of driver and passengers and proactively predict and simplify the next operating steps. For more information go to:http://ces.mercedes-pressevents.com
Three World Premieres at the CES Show a High Pace of Innovation
Mercedes-Benz recently announced partnerships with Pepple Technology and Nest Labs. These alliances give Mercedes-Benz developers access to the latest hardware and application programming interfaces (APIs) from the two Silicon Valley based start-ups to create unique automotive experiences.
Mercedes-Benz will demonstrate information sharing and interactive communication between vehicle and Pebble smart watch. Thanks to the flow of information between vehicle and the smart watch, consumers who are away from their vehicles, will be able to glance at Pebble smart watch to review vehicle information. When hopping into their vehicle, Pebble smart watch will vibrate when vehicle needs to communicate to consumers certain alerts. These features will be released in spring of 2014 as part of Digital DriveStyle app.
Another world premiere is a partnership with Nest Labs to demonstrate a concept of connecting Mercedes-Benz vehicles to the Nest Learning Thermostat using Nest's web APIs. Mercedes-Benz and Nest are demonstrating how this solution makes life easier and more convenient. The vehicle will interact with the Nest Thermostat so that your home will be at a comfortable temperature upon your arrival. With such intelligent links between the consumer’s home and vehicle, Mercedes-Benz is creating a new interactive experience to increase convenience for its drivers with the planned release in spring of 2014 as part of Digital DriveStyle app.
At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Mercedes-Benz and Google announced a partnership to bring Google services to Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The next phase of this partnership will be previewed at CES 2014 with the introduction of Google+ support in the award winning Digital DriveStyle app. Google+ support will be available in all vehicles fitted with the Drive Kit Plus hardware module, and will allow drivers to share updates to Google+, and review their Google+ streams both on screen and via text-to-speech. Mercedes-Benz is the world’s first automotive manufacturer to bring Google+ to their vehicles, with market availability expected on iOS in spring 2014.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class is “Best-Connected Vehicle of 2013”
Readers of German publications AUTO BILD and COMPUTER BILD have spoken: The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the “Best-Connected Vehicle of 2013” according to the results of the reader poll conducted jointly by both magazines for the “Connected Car Award”. Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive took first place in the “Best Driver Assistance System Safety” category. The “Connected Car Awards” will be presented today at the CES to Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, who will accept the awards on the Mercedes-Benz show stand.
Mercedes-Benz Honored as “Global Technology Innovator 2013”
Mercedes-Benz is also being honored with the Plus X Award “Global Technology Innovator 2013”. The recipient is chosen by a jury of experts and prominent figures from across 25 industries. 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 city 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.”