Several weeks after the first presentation of its F125 research car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Daimler has provided details on the infotainment system in this futuristic car. It embraces elements such as cloud computing, seamless media integration, many apps as well as the new MirrorLink open infotainment interface.
"Always on" is already a matter of course for the new infotainment system, branded as @yourCOMAND. Most elements of the system will be integrated into serial production Mercedes cars over the next couple of years. Thanks to the rigorously cloud-based approach, Daimler hopes to be able to decouple the design cycles for vehicle and consumer electronics in the car. Over the past years, this discrepancy increasingly produced frictions in the integration of new consumer-based technologies into the relatively slow-moving world of automotive electronics.
The user interface is seamlessly integrated into Daimler's existing concept. For the F125 it has been enhanced by voice control, touch elements, and intuitive gestures. Daimler's current infotainment system already makes use of apps (for instance, Google Local Search"). The variety of apps will be greatly enhanced - for instance Daimler plans apps for Facebook, Google Street View and others. The apps run on Daimler's COMAND Online system. Apps as well as COMAND Online can be updated automatically by Daimler's Vehicle Backend Server network.
Another feature will be the speed limit assistant. It is equipped with a camera that "reads" traffic signs. These information as well as data from the navigation data base are processed to generate driving recommendations. The feature however will be available only in Europe - at least for the time being.
From mid-2012, Daimler plans to offer a new infotainment option which will be developed especially for the iPhone. Once the iPhone is connected to the vehicle, an app developed by Mercedes Benz sends various information to the vehicle display and makes thus function easy to control with the COMAND controller. The system utilizes the iPhone's processing power as well as the vehicle's wide display.
In order to ensure seamless integration of smartphones regardless of the brand or vendor, Daimler will support the MirrorLink open standard, introduced by the Car Connectivity Consortium during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. MirrorLink enables simple, user-friendly integration of smartphones with the car-based infotainment infrastructure. The user connects its phone to the vehicle and can then use roughly all the mobile phone applications in the car.
While the handset provides the user with access to applications and services, the on-board infotainment system provides the physical interfaces - the phone can make use of the car's large display, loudspeakers and microphone. Operation is controlled by means of the rotary control/pushbutton that has been established as a central control element in Mercedes cars for many years. In 2013, the system will also support NFC for easy pairing.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.