Mercedes-Benz unveiled its vision of the fully connected car of the future at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
The German manufacturer used the technology expo to highlight several new and conceptual ideas that it believes will link together to transform cars into machines that communicate with other computer devices in our lives.
A key feature is what Mercedes calls ‘Predictive User Experience’, which previews how intelligent cars of the future will learn about their owner’s driving habits using information from the sat-nav and multimedia systems.
“The car learns, adapts, predicts and interacts with the driver,” explained Thomas Weber, Mercedes-Benz’s research and development boss.
“Imagine this: you get in the car in the morning on a cold winter weekday, and your vehicle already knows that you want to drive to work, and has the fastest route for you based on real-time weather and traffic data, and by the way it also turns automatically the seat heating, steering wheel heating and armrest heating on to your preferred settings.”
Mercedes also highlighted Vehicle Home, a website through which an owner can remotely access data about the car’s performance, basic checks such as fuel levels and tyre pressures, and also analyse their own driving style. Some elements of this concept will be offered with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive later this year.
Wearable devices also form an integral part of the plan. A new tie-up with Silicon Valley technology company Pebble has yielded a smart watch that is integrated with the Vehicle Home website and Mercedes' existing Digital DriveStyle smartphone app. It can relay key information such as a vehicle’s fuel level or location, and even tell owners if the car's doors are locked or not.