At Google I/O, Mercedes-Benz demonstrates upcoming integration with Google services using an iPhone connected to its Drive Kit Plus feature in an SL-class.
The DigitalDriveStyle app combines powerful Google search, location and mapping features into a single, safe-to-use-while-driving service for Mercedes owners.
The system enables a driver to seamlessly integrate their smartphone into the car’s infotainment architecture and for the device’s apps to be categorized and displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard screen and to be accessed via console buttons or through voice commands.
The DigitalDriveStyle app also integrates predictive search into the Google Places API meaning that as a driver starts to type or dictate a destination, the software automatically predicts the most likely destination, whether it’s a street, a shop or restaurant.
By combining Google Street View and Google+ local images, users can also take 360° virtual tours of any intended destination before they set off.
The app also adds ‘heatmaps’ to searched for destinations to highlight areas with the highest predicted concentrations of people — such as shopping centers and nightclubs.
Mercedes was the first car company to open a research and development centre in Silicon Valley — its Palo Alto site opened way back in 1995.
The car company has invested heavily in developing its own apps and services in-house, and the integration of Google’s services into the latest edition of DigitalDriveStyle app is a result of the close working relationship the two companies have formed.
The irony is, however, that all of these innovations will not be coming to the Android platform. The DigitalDriveStyle app and the Drive Kit Plus — the combination of hardware and software that enables a smartphone to be integrated into a Mercedes — only work with the iPhone.
Mercedes has confirmed that it will be taking the wraps off its latest premium SUV concept, the GLA, at Auto Shanghai, the doors to which officially open on April 21.
Conceived to help owners “escape the everyday” at 4.38 meters long and 1.97 meters wide, the GLA is small enough to negotiate busy city centers but thanks to permanent four-wheel drive should make for a willing leisure-time companion too.
Under the hood is a four-cylinder, 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine capable of pumping out 211bhp via a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission.
The inside of the cabin benefits from prodigious use of leather and aluminium. Other interesting interior touches include light-emitting air vents that shine blue when the air conditioning is set below 22°C and start to glow a brighter red as the heat is turned up.
The car also boasts externally mounted 3D/HD cameras that give the driver a clear, birds-eye view of everything surrounding the car, but that can also be removed and mounted on a helmet or mountain bike so that families can record their adventures.
The cameras can also be operated to make films or take still photos while the car is in motion and, thanks to an integrated, front-mounted lens, can project those images directly on to a wall or any other vertical surface, essentially turning the car into a mobile drive-in cinema.
“The Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment — this is a sporty and more coupé-like evolution of this category of vehicle,” commented Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing.
Just a few months after retiring from his sporting career, seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher has become the newest brand ambassador for German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.
The driver, who has won the most titles in F1 history, will be involved in developing new on-board technology and everything related to the “Intelligent Drive” system and safety.
Michael Schumacher first worked with Mercedes in 1990 when he joined the “Junior Team,” set up by the manufacturer to take junior German drivers to the highest level.
Seven world championships, 91 victories and 68 pole positions later, he finally took the wheel of a Mercedes for F1 in 2010, even though he had retired from the sport for the first time 3 years before.
Six months after taking part in his last Grand Prix, Schumacher has now embarked on a new chapter of his life. “The future interests me much more than the present and past,” he explained.
“During my Formula 1 time I always believed that you must not allow yourself to rest on your laurels, but that you must continuously try to improve. In so doing I was very often able to rely on the help of all the technologies available to me in the car and use them to my advantage. That is why I am a declared supporter of driving assistance systems both in the racing car and in the road-going car.”
The new Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador will make his first public appearance on May 1, 2013 during an event called “The future starts today.”
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its G63 AMG 6×6, a beastly luxury SUV with an insane 536-horsepower and six 37-inch wheels.
The vehicle is built alongside the regular G Class range at Magna Steyr’s operations in Graz, Austria, and was originally developed for the Australian military back in 2011.
Unlike the military version, which is fitted with Mercedes-Benz’s 3.0-liter V6 diesel, the G63 AMG 6×6 gets a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with 536 hp.
Torque is a solid 560 lb-ft and is crucial in providing the shove required to haul the truck’s 8,322-pound curb weight. That power is sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission to one heck of a four-wheel-drive system.
The 6×6 G63 is still reasonably fast with a 0 to 100 km/h time of under six seconds and top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph – limited).
The G63 AMG 6×6 will be the second most expensive Mercedes-Benz model behind the new $457,000 (350,000 euros) SLS Electric Drive. The luxury SUV officially goes on sale in October. Currently, Mercedes is predicting sales of between 20 and 30 units annually.
Watch the G63 AMG 6×6 powerslide, rock-climb, catch air and generally conquer all that stands in its path in the video below.
Mercedes-Benz Accessories has announced that an illuminated front grille star will be offered on its compact model range.
Using optical fiber with LED technology, the star emblem is lighted up only when the car is stationary, when the car is unlocked or the engine is stopped. It also lights up when the car’s doors or trunk is opened, and once they are closed, the light will go off in 15 seconds.
Already available for the M and GL Class SUVs, the optical fiber white LED-lit tri-star emblem will be extended starting next month for the C, CLS, and E Class models.
The luminous star is priced at €300. So far, this has only been announced for the European models. No word on US availablity. To see it in action, check out the video.
The next Mercedes S-Class will be packed with driving assistance features and shock prevention systems thanks to its impressive array of cameras, a mix of specs the carmaker has dubbed “Intelligent Drive”. Continue reading →
Mercedes-Benz has announced the new 2013 SLS AMG GT that has been improved for better driving dynamics and better on track performance.
The SLS AMG GT will be available both as a Coupé and Roadster complete with a new, optional AMG designo STYLE interior package.
The car is set to go on sale mid-November 2012, replacing previous SLS AMG versions. The new car will be distinguished by darker light lenses front and rear, a unique wheel color and red brake calipers. Continue reading →
A partnership between Mercedes and Berlin Brandenburg will leave passengers in no doubt that they have landed in the home of luxury cars when they land at the new airport, with Mercedes-Benz featuring prominently across the new airport.
Airport authorities said this past week that a ‘star tower’, topped by an eight-meter-wide Mercedes star, will be constructed on the route into the airport. Continue reading →
The German brand is poised to finish the year just behind the world’s most popular luxury automaker, BMW, beating Mercedes-Benz in the race to woo well-to-do buyers.
As automakers enter the last month of sales for the year, Audi has sold over 56,000 more vehicles than Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz, a new record which puts it on track to finish the year with a record 1.3 million cars sold. Continue reading →