In future, more comprehensive traffic information will be relayed to the vehicle more rapidly. The navigation system will be able to inform the Mercedes driver of traffic holdups at an early stage, so that he can quickly adapt his route planning according to the current traffic conditions.
In this way, Mercedes-Benz is taking the quality of traffic information and its use in the vehicle to a new level. This has been made possible thanks to cooperation between Daimler AG, TomTom and Deutsche Telekom.
Mercedes-Benz Live Traffic: more up-to-date information thanks to real-time traffic data
In future, the latest traffic information such as tailback reports, current traffic density, traffic holdups or travel warnings will be sent to the vehicle in real time by means of Mercedes-Benz Live Traffic. Deutsche Telekom is making a communication infrastructure available for this purpose which has been developed specifically for Mercedes-Benz. The company will install a communication module in its vehicles which provides constant connectivity with the Cloud. The Machine-to-Machine (M2M) SIM chip integrated into the communication module takes care of the mobile data transfer. Real-time information on the current traffic situation is provided by TomTom with its HD Traffic service, which has emerged the winner in many comparative tests. Using this precise information, the COMAND navigation system is able to show the length and starting point of a tailback on the map to an accuracy of 100 metres, and to calculate improved dynamic route guidance with shorter travel times. The potential loss of time is automatically reflected in the arrival time displayed in real time by the COMAND Online navigation system. At once Mercedes-Benz Live Traffic functions as a real-time traffic reporter, making a direct contribution to superior data quality. In parallel with the reception of up-to-date traffic information, the vehicle anonymises its own traffic data and sends it to the TomTom traffic data centre every two minutes. This centre combines information from all sources on the current traffic conditions and transmits the results. Mercedes-Benz will soon be offering this service in its new vehicle models, and plans to equip most models with Live Traffic by the end of this year. For the first time Mercedes-Benz drivers using COMAND Online will be able to benefit from the service free of charge for three years in Germany, the UK, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark, Luxembourg and Austria.
New Mercedes-Benz Apps for COMAND Online
As an addition to the apps already integrated into COMAND Online, Mercedes-Benz is extending the functions of its multimedia systems in new vehicles with the following applications at no extra cost: TuneIn radio, newsreading function, HRS Hotelfinder, national travel information and Mercedes-Benz Service.
- TuneIn radio
Reception and storage of all radio stations available worldwide via the internet. Qualified search according to local stations, category (music, entertainment, sport, news) or country. Easy adoption of TuneIn favourites by logging-in to a personal TuneIn account.
- Newsreading function The News app has been extended with a newsreading function. By simply selecting the audio symbol, news items are read out in the preset COMAND Online language.
- HRS Hotelfinder
Search and selection of accommodation according to various hotel categories, in the current location, at the navigation destination or in any location specified. Online telephone reservation via HRS. Easy adoption of the address as a navigation destination.
- National travel information This provides the user with the traffic regulations applicable in other countries, e.g. maximum speed limits, road tolls/toll sticker requirements, lighting and fluorescent jacket regulations.
- Mercedes-Benz Services
This informs customers in Germany about current special service offers relating to their vehicle.
Existing COMAND Online customers will receive a free update to their multimedia system, which includes the HRS Hotelfinder, national travel information and the Service package, from Mercedes-Benz as a so-called “over-the-air update” using cloud-based technology.
The Flight Information app is available from the Mercedes-Benz App Shop (http://apps.mercedes-benz.com). This provides information about all flights to and from the major airports, up-to-date departure and arrival times, delays, terminals and gates.
Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call: help summoned automatically
In combination with COMAND Online, the Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call system is also on board. Following a serious accident, this uses a mobile phone connected to COMAND Online or the Mercedes-Benz telephone module to place an automatic, direct call to the Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call Centre, which will ensure rapid assistance.
After airbag or belt tensioner activation, the exact GPS position of the vehicle, its direction of travel and other information such as the time and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) are sent to the dedicated Emergency Call Centre by SMS, while the location data are also sent in parallel by DTMF (Dual Tone Multi-Frequency). Within seconds the Emergency Call Centre will establish a voice connection with the vehicle occupants, always communicating in the language that the driver has preselected in COMAND Online.
The driver is also able to place the emergency call manually, as the entry “MB Emergency Call” is always the first in the telephone directory. Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call is available in 19 European countries.
Vision of integrated customer loyalty
Mercedes-Benz is also working on individual services and vehicle-related packages that can be administered on a central, web-based customer platform. The automobile and the internet will blend together intelligently at this digital Single Point of Contact. The aim is to further improve customer service and enhance the customer’s Mercedes-Benz brand experience with personalised offers. In future, it might for example be possible to preset vehicle features from a smartphone by remote control, book a workshop appointment online and at the same time reserve a rental car. Thanks to the seamless integration of individual data, personalised offers could be presented in keeping with the customer profile. At the automotiveIT Congress held during the CeBIT show, Mercedes-Benz will point out how the vision might look like.
Source: Daimler AG