Mercedes me provides personalised access to the individual and exclusive world of Mercedes-Benz, which revolves around the customer (http://mercedes.me). One part of this initiative is Mercedes connect me. Launched a year ago, the system enables customers throughout Europe to link up with their vehicles from anywhere at any time. Customers with vehicles which have not been Mercedes me-capable to date will soon be able to benefit from a convenient means of linking up their vehicle – with the Mercedes connect me Adapter. In all, it will be possible to retrofit 24 passenger car model series from manufacture year 2002 onwards with this solution, thus enabling secure and reliable access to vehicle information. From the spring of 2016, Mercedes-Benz will be phasing in this connect me product initiative in the European markets in which Mercedes connect me is available.
Another highlight focusing on customer benefit is the new Mercedes me app for iOS and Android smartphones. This enables a host of vehicle status information to be called up, remote control of auxiliary heating or remote opening and locking of doors, for example. The app also allows convenient door-to-door navigation by iPhone and Apple Watch. Less than four months after the first prototype was presented, the Mercedes me app will be available to download for free from the autumn of 2015.
The Mercedes connect me Adapter
To date, Mercedes connect me has been available exclusively to customers buying new cars – the required COM module with SIM card has been on board virtually all model series since September 2014. Under the slogan “Retrofit for the future”, owners of cars which are not yet connect me-capable can also link up with their vehicles and become part of the Mercedes me world: as of the spring of 2016, authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers will be able to retrofit the Mercedes connect me Adapter for a total of 24 car model series from manufacture year 2002 onwards. “Ever more customers wish to be linked up to their car. By extending the Mercedes connect me services to vehicles which have not been connect me-capable to date, we are now enabling millions of customers to fulfil this wish,” explains Ola Källenius, Daimler Management Board Member responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “These Mercedes models can now also become part of the digital lifestyle and allow customers their own personal entrance into the Mercedes me world.”
The authorised Mercedes-Benz dealer will connect the Mercedes connect me Adapter to the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic interface and carry out the necessary settings. In order to use the adapter, the customer must have the corresponding Mercedes connect me Adapter app installed on their smartphone and have a user account at the Mercedes me portal. The adapter communicates via Bluetooth with the customer’s smartphone; the corresponding app requires an internet connection. This retrofit solution will enable millions of vehicles to be linked up to Mercedes me, including large-selling model series such as the E-Class (model series W 211, from manufacture year 2002), the C-Class (W 204, from spring of 2007) or the A-Class (W 169 and W 176, from mid-2004). In future, drivers of these models will thus enjoy convenient access to their vehicle data and be able to use mobility services as well as safety, security and service functions. An overview of all the vehicles for which the Mercedes connect me Adapter will be available from 15.9. at: http://mercedes.me/adapter
The new Mercedes me app
Another highlight of the Mercedes connect me product initiative at the Frankfurt International Motor Show is the new Mercedes me app. This native application is available for iOS and Android smartphones as well as the Apple Watch, and allows even more convenient access to the Mercedes connect me services.In addition to information on the status of their vehicles, the Mercedes me app also provides customers with continual precise real-time information on the route to their most important destinations. Equally, the next destinations can be sent via the app to the vehicle from the comfort of the user’s home or office, thus avoiding the need to enter data in the vehicle. Another new function which has been integrated in the Mercedes me app is Door-to-Door Navigation.The app first of all shows the route on foot to the car. Once the driver has arrived at the car, the vehicle calls up the data and determines the corresponding route as soon as the driver starts the engine. If the car is parked in the vicinity of the destination, the route for the final metres to the destination is recalculated and relayed to the app.The destination can also be located and displayed with the Apple Watch.
The app has been developed within Daimler’s global R&D network by experts from Sunnyvale/California and Sindelfingen. “It’s not by chance that we have been able to develop the Mercedes me app in the shortest of time,” says Prof. Thomas Weber, Daimler Management Board Member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “We have research and development centres around the globe. In addition to the expertise in technical fields, this also enables us to respond to the specific requirements of markets. Engineering prowess coupled with a culture of innovation allows us to incorporate innovations very quickly into our vehicles and to keep pace with the development cycles in the field of consumer electronics.”
The Mercedes me app will be available to download free of charge from iTunes and Google Play as of the autumn of 2015.
Mercedes connect me: overview of current services
The services offered by “Mercedes connect me” allow customers to connect with their vehicle any time and anywhere. The connectivity services include Accident Recovery, Maintenance Management and Breakdown Management, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, Telediagnostics and the real-time “Live Traffic Information” service.
The Mercedes connect me Standard Services comprise:
- Accident Recovery: after using the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, this service connects the driver with the Customer Assistance Center, so that further assistance can be given if required to deal with an accident, e.g. a breakdown vehicle.
- Breakdown Management: provides technical assistance in the event of a breakdown. To this end, the GPS position and the condition of the vehicle are transmitted to the Customer Assistance Centre, which informs Mercedes-Benz Service 24h. This enables Mercedes-Benz Service 24h to provide help with maximum efficiency.
- Maintenance Management: the vehicle detects and reports pending maintenance needs and sends the necessary data to the service outlet as the basis for preparing a service quote.
- Telediagnostics: the vehicle detects when diagnostics-capable wear parts need replacing and relays this information to the Mercedes-Benz service partner which has been assigned by the customer. The dealer contacts the customer to schedule a workshop appointment. The previously transmitted data enable the workshop to provide optimal assistance.
- Live Traffic Information: precise information on the current traffic situation in real time (in conjunction with COMAND Online and the Audio 20 Garmin Map Pilot).
Always on and intelligently connected – that’s the Mercedes connect me motto.Customers have access to their vehicle at all times and from anywhere. Apart from calling up a wealth of information on the current status of their vehicle, they can also remotely control their auxiliary heating or open and lock doors, for example. This requires Remote Online, which is optionally available for new cars in conjunction with the Audio 20 CD and Audio 20 USB multimedia systems and features as standard in combination with COMAND Online. Remote Online is part of the standard specification on Mercedes-Benz vehicles with electric drive. Use is initially limited to a period of three years after initial registration, following which it can be extended subject to a charge.
The Remote Online Services comprise:
- Parked Vehicle Locator: allows the user to ascertain the vehicle’s position if it has been parked in an unfamiliar city, for example.This makes it possible to conveniently find the vehicle within a range of 1.5 kilometres, using a smartphone.
- Vehicle Tracker: enables the customer/user to pinpoint the current position of a moving vehicle via GPS. A special symbol in the vehicle indicates when tracking services are active. The service can be deactivated at any time by making a free call to the Customer Assistance Center.
- Geofencing: shows the customer/user where the vehicle is in an area previously defined on the map and informs the customer if the car leaves or enters this area. Like the Vehicle Tracker, this service can also be deactivated by the driver at any time.
- Remote Door Locking and Unlocking: allows the customer/user to lock or unlock the vehicle’s doors remotely – if the driver has forgotten to lock the vehicle, for example.
- Remote Retrieval of Vehicle Status: vehicle data such as fuel level, range, etc., can be accessed from home or while on the road.
- Programming of Auxiliary Heating: when auxiliary heating is installed in the vehicle, functions such as “start”, “switch off” or “timing” can be controlled remotely.
- Any destinations or points of interest can be sent directly from the Mercedes me portal (http://mercedes.me) or the Mercedes me app to the user’s own vehicle, for convenient loading in the navigation system.
- The Remote Online Services include additional functions as standard for vehicles with electric drive or plug-in hybrids. Charging settings can be programmed, for example, or the Pre-Entry Climate Control function can be remote-controlled. A Range on Map function which includes due consideration of the given topography is also available.
In order to protect data and vehicle systems from unauthorised access, neither the Standard Services from Mercedes connect me nor the Remote Online Services involve a direct connection between the vehicle and the internet. Rather, the vehicle is connected via a secure VPN link (Virtual Private Network) with the Daimler Vehicle backend. These specially protected servers provide for secure data transmission. The Daimler Vehicle backend also serves as a gateway to external service providers and anonymises inquiries from the vehicle in order to meet customers’ high data security expectations, as the car of the future will turn increasingly into a digital companion, which at the same time means it must keep data safe as well as be perfectly safe to operate out on the road.
Daimler AG does not create any movement profiles in connection with Mercedes connect me services. All applicable laws relating to data security are observed. Access by government bodies is only possible within the bounds of the law. Where personal data are collected or created in connection with the use of Mercedes connect me services, this takes place on the basis of contractual provisions agreed with Daimler AG or with the customer’s consent. Customers can deactivate their connect me services at any time, including during the term of the contract.
Source: Daimler AG