Mercedes has announced it will launch its in-vehicle operating system, MB.OS.
As vehicle software has become increasingly important in the automotive industry, automakers have been forced to invest more in software development and upkeep. This includes Mercedes, who invested millions into a new software development wing just last year. Now the results of that investment are becoming apparent, as Mercedes announced that it will launch its own vehicle operating system, MB.OS.
There are numerous changes that Mercedes is looking to put in place with its newest software offering, but there are some more critical alterations. Foremost, with Mercedes’ dedication to autonomous driving, MB.OS is set to help the premium German brand achieve its goal of level 3 autonomy at a max speed of 80mph.
“At Mercedes-Benz, we are dedicated to building the world’s most desirable cars,” says Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz CEO. “Accordingly, we made the decision to be the architects of our own operating system – a unique chip-to-cloud architecture that leverages its full access to our vehicles’ hardware and software components. By combining this in-house expertise with a selection of world-class partners, we will create an outstanding customer experience, from driving assistance, navigation, and entertainment all the way to integrated charging.”
Another big addition to MB.OS is a partnership with Google. Integrating products like Google Maps and other purpose-built features will hopefully make phone integration better than ever. And while this partnership is undoubtedly the most prominent, Mercedes states it will not be the last within its MB.OS project.
More generally, the premium German automaker stated that its new infotainment system, bringing “the best of music, video, and gaming,” will be far faster and easier to use than its predecessor and will attempt to be market-leading.
The final big change will be in implementing “software-enabled revenues.” While Mercedes didn’t expressly define what these systems would look like, they will focus on selling products or services to customers via the in-car entertainment system. However, it should be noted that Mercedes has faced its fair share of backlash for selling vehicle features as a service.
MB.OS will first appear in Mercedes vehicles mid-decade alongside the company’s new vehicle architecture, MMA.
With vehicle software becoming a significant part of the driving experience and determining factor for when customers buy their vehicles, I would not be surprised if numerous brands follow Mercedes in introducing their own vehicle software. Volvo has already worked with Google on its in-car experience, and even entry-level brands like Toyota and General Motors have shown an aptitude for software investment. Hopefully, this added interest and investment from Mercedes will also spark more legacy makers to improve.
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