Dr Dieter Zetsche
Daimler's chairman of the board of directors, Dr Dieter Zetsche, has revealed that Mercedes-Benz wants to create cars that act as personal assistants and wellbeing monitors.
Speaking earlier today in Berlin at the IFA consumer electronics show, Dr Zetsche explained that cars will one day carry out chores and tasks humans don’t enjoy, in a bid to improve their quality of life and reduce stress.
He said that cars would be able to communicate with one another and pass on information to make journeys more efficient, and that in the very short term, they’ll be able to use this shared data to do things like find spaces and park themselves.
“We’ve already begun testing community-based parking in Stuttgart together with our partners at Bosch,” Dr. Zetsche said. “It works using car sensors that can find empty spaces along a road and then share the information with the Mercedes back-end database. That information is then shared with other Mercedes cars.”
The process means all connected Mercedes cars will be able to instantly know where the nearest and most convenient parking space is. In the short term future this system will allow users to drive their cars to them, but further ahead, autonomous cars will drive off and park themselves.
Dr Zetsche said that cars will then begin to work as their owner’s assistant, carrying out chores like taking the kids to school and picking up other family members while an owner stays at work or home.
“Everyone is talking about digitalisation and connected cars,” he continued. “But software alone will not be able to take you from A to B. It is the total package that will take you from A to B.”
Additionally, the Mercedes boss said cars would work to make sure their passengers are as comfortable as possible during transit.
“It's our goal that a passenger gets out of a Mercedes in better condition than when they got in,” he explained. “The car will use its sensors to monitor the health and wellbeing of passengers, and then adjust settings to improve your situation and blood pressure.”
While he refrained from going into further detail, Dr Zetsche cited the Mercedes F015 concept (pictured) as an example of the idea. The concept was revealed at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA, and showcased Mercedes’s vision for autonomous cars that focus on offering maximum comfort to passengers.
“We do not know exactly what the car will look like in 10 years from now, but we do know it will be of greater value for all of us,” added Dr Zetsche. “That’s why our cars have begun to become quality time machines, to hand back time to let you do what you want.
“But that time will always include driving a car for pure pleasure. We will certainly never forget that at Mercedes,” he concluded.