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For many people, unrestricted access to information has become an indispensable part of their daily lives – be it at work or in their leisure time. And what’s more, worldwide more and more people are spending increasing amounts of time on the move – particularly also in the car where they want to stay fully “networked” wherever possible.

Mercedes-Benz has responded to this growing customer need with its seamless telematics strategy @yourCOMAND: the inventor of the automobile showcases the concept of a comprehensive cloud-based system in its new F 125! research vehicle. Mercedes-Benz is already offering secure, convenient in-car internet access in numerous models courtesy of the COMAND Online multimedia system introduced this year.

Internet access, the convenient LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system, two different navigation solutions, interfaces for mobile devices and an intuitive operating concept: just some of the functions supported by the new COMAND Online multimedia system, which Mercedes-Benz has used to implement the motto “always on in the car” this year. The F 125! research vehicle, which paves the way for future in-car telematics and infotainment systems, provides a glimpse of the multimedia future at the Mercedes-Benz brand.

“@yourCOMAND turns the car into a mobile communications centre that provides the driver and passengers with access to all modern media and services at all times”, says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Thanks to the consistently cloud-based solution, we can also uncouple from the established vehicle development cycles and are at eye level with the rapid developments in the world of consumer electronics. We can therefore always provide our customers with access to the latest applications for fully fledged in-car connectivity.”

Seamless experience and natural handling

The Mercedes-Benz telematics strategy is based on four components: @yourCOMAND stands for

  • Seamless experience,
  • Natural handling,
  • Sensory perfection and
  • Remote convenience.

Mercedes-Benz has implemented this strategic approach for the first time in its F 125! research vehicle.

Seamless experience connects the multimedia systems in the F 125! seamlessly and cross-functionally. The applications are socially interactive and do not distract the driver. Thanks to the permanent connection with the data cloud, the driver also has “seamless” access in the vehicle to all the used media, with no need for any cumbersome synchronisation.

Natural handling enables the telematics and infotainment systems in the F 125! to be largely controlled via voice as well as by means of supplementary intuitive gesture and touch elements. In order to promote optimum driver-fitness and operating safety, the research vehicle becomes the perfect, ever attentive front passenger for its driver and passengers. The driver can, for instance, request the latest news tailored to their personal needs and ask specific context-related queries without having to take the hands off the wheel.

Sensory perfection stands for high-end sound and high-resolution screens with pin-sharp, individual displays. The auto stereoscopic 3D display provides a 3D representation of the instrument cluster and can cluster relevant information on the F 125! display as required. The display is tailored to natural viewing habits, provides a clearer overview, thus reducing the driver’s workload. A retractable 17-inch display is fitted to the front passenger side, which is controlled entirely via gestures as part of the touchless interface. A high-resolution widescreen display instead of conventional mirrors enables the entire traffic area alongside and behind the vehicle to be conveniently monitored. This solution also helps identify the particular traffic situation faster and more intuitively.

Remote convenience enables the vehicle and its multimedia system to be fully preconfigured remotely using a PC or smartphone – from programming the navigation and entertainment system through to seat-specific presetting of the desired interior temperature. Authorised persons have constant access to information such as the fuel level in the tank, the next scheduled service or the fuel consumption via the vehicle’s specific homepage.

Mercedes innovations: from the research lab onto the road in no time at all
In the past, the company has repeatedly demonstrated just how quickly Mercedes-Benz can implement visionary technologies in series production – also in the area of active road safety, for instance. The company is also pushing forward with the innovation process for telematics and infotainment systems just as concertedly: key functions of the myComand connectivity concept unveiled in 2008 have now found their way into COMAND Online, which is already available for many of the brand’s models.

COMAND Online multimedia system: a host of functions and optimum convenience
The COMAND Online multimedia system allows Mercedes-Benz to already meet its aspiration of ‘always on’ in the Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class as well as in the SLK-Class and the CLS-Class models. It will also be available for the new B- and M-Class, which will be launched in November. New apps for the social networking site Facebook™ and for Google™ Street View and Panoramio by Google™ will also be available for this system from November. Other apps that have already been launched include “Google Local search” and “Weather” as well as the option of sending a route or points of interest configured beforehand on a PC using Google Maps to the vehicle and uploading this into the navigation system. The required internet access for the COMAND Online functions is provided via a mobile using a Bluetooth connection.

Over the medium term, a dozen other apps are planned, which are currently under development in collaboration with partners, including innovative start-ups and other popular internet content providers. All customers driving a Mercedes-Benz fitted with COMAND Online can use the new apps. The Daimler vehicle backend server automatically updates COMAND Online and provides updates for apps – all without having to call into an authorised Mercedes-Benz dealer or a garage.

New functions added to hard-disc navigation
The fast hard-disc navigation function for COMAND Online has also been up