Mercedes-Benz turns connected cars into office mangers, fitness coaches, assistants, valet parkers & comforters

smart ready to drop.
smart ready to drop package delivery service

Daimler/Mercedes-Benz made several announcements at IFA. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars gave a presentation that opened with a video montage and the song “Baby You Can Drive My Car.” During the speech, Zetsche outlined new features for Daimler vehicles including advanced assistance, apps, In Car Office, concierge services, delivery services to cars, an app for loading packages and new comfort packages. Also at IFA, Daimler announced new digital smart key apps for Samsung phones.

Fully self-driving cars will be the biggest upgrade in the history of the car, says Zetsche. The car is developing into a quality time machine. The right combo of software and hardware create magic.

Daimler believes the car will grow into three roles that will make lives better and easier:

  1. Office manager.
  2. Fitness coach.
  3. Personal assistant.

When you get out of the car you get a long list of phone calls, emails and text messages on your phone. Daimler has a way to help. Daimler is working with Microsoft for In Car Office. It uses Microsoft Exchange and will be available in cars next year.

In Car Office:

  • Dials you next phone appoint in the car.
  • Navigates you to your next appointment.
  • The car system will suggest making phone calls from a dynamic list of contacts.

In Car Office apps will be rolled out across all providers and countries. Daimler is working with WeChat to make it safe convenient and legal for use in cars in China.

In the future, when cars drive, then Daimler will enable video conferences and other features.

The next field to be address in cars is the health field. The average German sits more than 7 1/2 hours a day which is worse than smoking. Dr. Zetsche called sitting a real “a pain in the ass.” In Mercedes-Benz cars, “Motion Seating” makes sure you don’t stay in the same positions for a long time. The cushion and back rest moves slightly constantly.

There are other factors to influence drivers. A mental health coach gave tips to drivers to love being in the moment and feel capable. The more you are focused on the driving the better it will be.

Zetsche discussed “Active Comfort” that includes lighting, A/C, scent, massage and heating to change the environment. The car will know the state of driver’s body and mind, to react accordingly.

Concierge services are based on nice hotel concierge services. Personal assistance is achieved through Mercedesme Concierge, that works in the car or through an app.

The in-car personal assistant will help finding parking. The Mercedes E-Class self-parks through an app. The car helps find parking through community-based parking and sensors that scan the side of the road for parking. In the future, Mercedes-Benz cars will share parking information with other cars. The first step will be sharing the busiest streets for parking. The next step is autonomous valet parking.

Cars are vacant 23 hours a day. Smart cars will be used as a personal mobile mail box. Hardware and software makes cars easily accessible to be opened or locked. DHL is working with retailers to deliver packages to Smart cars. If you want to return a package DHL can pick it up from a car. The ‘smart ready to drop’ beta test will start in the autumn in Stuttgart, followed by Cologne, Bonn and Berlin a few months later.

smart Pactris app
smart Pactris app

Pactris is an app to help drivers fit packages into Smart cars. Pactris supplies a drawing that shows how to fit all the packages into the car.The user scans the bar code on the product – for example in a furniture store – and the app shows how the packages fit in their Smart car. Or, the user can select items from a constantly growing database where typical items are stored. It also shows whether, for example, a drink crate or a moving box will still fit in the fortwo or forfour.

Samsung and Mercedes-Benz introduced a new digital car key that transforms Galaxy smartphones into smart keys.

The digital car key is secure with a tamper proof eSE (embedded Secure Element). After a simple one-time setup via a companion app provided by Mercedes-Benz, users will be able to lock, unlock and start their car using only their Galaxy smartphone via NFC technology. This solution will even allow users to access their car when their smartphone is off with NFC-eSE technology.