Innovation has always been the key to success for automakers, and it will be even more important in the future. Without the courage to launch new ideas there would not be any automobiles, and without a capacity for innovation there would be no progress. Mercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile, and it continues to be the driving force behind its development.

The company confirms its claim for technological leadership again and again by registering more than 80,000 patents since Carl Benz presented the “Patent Motor Car” in 1886 and Gottlieb Daimler presented the “motorized carriage” in the same year. The focus of the company´s holistic commitment is the technological refinement of the automobile, and here Mercedes-Benz is setting the standards in all the relevant areas, from design and comfort to safety and drive systems. The pioneering developments from Mercedes, which in many cases benefit not only our customers but also those of other brands — ABS and the Electronic Stability Program ESP® are examples — are the result of a consistent innovation strategy that our highly motivated employees put into practice every day and implement with the help of state-of-the-art development methods.

Smart solutions for new mobility requirements
The world is changing at a rapid pace — and so are the overall requirements for automobiles. Among the most important influencing factors are the new mobility requirements people have in times of ongoing urbanization. In order to offer the right answers to challenges such as the current and future mobility needs in megacities and conurbations, the company is also forging ahead with the development of smart mobility concepts for metropolitan regions. Exemplary for that are the successful car-sharing concept “car2go” as well as an especially customer-friendly web-based ride-sharing service called “car2gether.” Both of these initiatives aim to make individual mobility in metropolitan areas flexible, environmentally compatible, and affordable, and thus to safeguard it over the long term.

“The best or nothing” — in the past, present, and future
Carl Benz once said, “The passion for invention never ends.” And Gottlieb Daimler phrased the famous maxim “The best or nothing.” Mercedes-Benz has been pursuing these objectives for almost 125 years. The spirit of innovation is one of the most important driving forces, and it is firmly embedded in our corporate culture — always with the objective of safeguarding individual mobility in the long term and offering every customer the vehicle that optimally fulfills his or her personal requirements. The foundation of this capacity for innovation is the systematic research work done at Mercedes-Benz, which resulted in the official establishment of an own research unit in the early 1970s. Today Mercedes-Benz can rely on a global knowledge network consisting of approximately 19,000 researchers and developers all over the world. It is an interdisciplinary think tank full of pioneering spirit, expertise, and the ambition to continue in the future to build the best automobiles in the world.

From the vehicle to the mobility concept – Stocking Up on Ideas: New Ideas for the Mobility of Today and Tomorrow
What will the cars of tomorrow look like? And how will people’s mobility requirements develop in the future? The development experts at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz find answers to basic questions like these with the help of such activities as market research and customer feedback, technology monitoring, and futurology research. The company can look back on a long tradition of such activities. For over 30 years, interdisciplinary and international research teams have been working to anticipate long-term trends and social developments and to apply their conclusions to the area of mobility. This future-oriented way of working — which involves stocking up on ideas — generates new solutions that anticipate changing conditions and new customer requirements rather than merely reacting to them.

One of these innovations is the NAFA two-seater concept car (“NAFA” is the German acronym for “short-distance vehicle”), which Mercedes-Benz developed in the 1980s. Even then, the company was taking into account the trend of urbanization, which is proceeding at an ever faster pace today all over the world. The concept behind the NAFA was the starting point of a parallel development that resulted in two successful series-produced models in the 1990s: the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, as the founder of the segment of compact premium vehicles, and the smart, the pioneer of intelligent urban mobility. Both cars — as well as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class — were designed for alternative drive systems from the very start, and today they are pioneers of electric mobility with zero local emissions: as smart fortwo electric drive and Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL with battery electric drive and as Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL with electric drive using fuel cell technology. These vehicles are being used for purposes including “e-mobility” projects, for instance in Berlin and Italy (the smart fortwo electric drive and the A-Class E-CELL), and are thus helping to pave the way toward mobility with zero local emissions.

Source: Daimler AG