Mercedes MB.OS Is the Screen-Heavy Portion of an Ambitious Technology Plan
- Mercedes-Benz has announced it’s got a new operating system, MB.OS, that will start appearing on new vehicles underpinned by the company’s new MMA platform.
- Owners will see safety features such as road-scanning lidar thanks to the new operating system, and games like Angry Birds and social media such as TikTok will be available on the cabin-dominating screens.
- A long-term partnership with Google is said to add the latest data and navigation features such as Place Details.
The old tech mantra of “move fast and break things” has been as present as a meme while we’ve lived through an era of rapid innovation in almost every aspect of our lives. There’s one place it doesn’t quite work: when it comes to safety and trust. In the automotive space, sometimes slow and steady is the right move, and as one of the oldest car companies, Mercedes-Benz has had plenty of time to evolve and develop.
Today in Sunnyvale, California, Mercedes-Benz gave us a glimpse of its future, plotting its course through the next round of innovation. This naturally includes features for electric vehicles and automated driving, but also entertainment, productivity, and well-being. And it includes some wildly lit screens.
More to Do and See on Screen(s)
Up first is the introduction of MB.OS, Mercedes’s new operating system that promises advancement in infotainment, safety, and the next generation of automated driving. It will debut in a few years on the first vehicle to use the new electric Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform. NVIDIA will supply the software, data, and AI expertise, as well as chips that can process 254 trillion operations per second for automated driving.
Other partnerships for other features include road-scanning lidar from Luminar, while Google will contribute to in-car data and more accurate mapping and navigation. Mercedes will also open its system to other partners to integrate entertainment options. These include TikTok, Zoom, a Vivaldi web browser, and even Angry Birds. Of course MB.OS will have over-the-air update capabilities to keep your system current and also to activate future features.
Assisted Driving Advances
There’s also plenty of hardware to support all of this software, and going forward, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles will come with the equipment needed for Level 2 automated driving. That’s similar to what we have today, with a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane-centering to relieve a hands-on driver from some of the driving burdens. Customers will be able to order their higher-end Mercedes with Level 3 automation called Drive Pilot.
Drive Pilot will be available on the 2024 EQS and S-class sedans and could be the first level 3 system offered in the U.S. It will operate on highways at speeds up to 40 mph, at least initially. The goal is to extend that to 80 mph. Unlike systems from GM and Ford, Drive Pilot will allow the driver to look away from the road, but they’ll still have to be prepared to take over driving duties at a moment’s notice. More significantly, Mercedes will assume liability for the vehicle when in Drive Pilot mode, which is a testament to their confidence in the system.
Innovation is nothing new to Mercedes-Benz, and these latest advancements are proof that they’re pushing toward the vision of the future that’s been the stuff of fiction a decade or two ago. (Whether this is the kind of fiction you would like to come true is up to you, of course.)
With a background in design and open-wheel racing, Mark Takahashi got his foot in the door as an art director on car and motorcycle magazines. He parlayed that into a career as an automotive journalist and has reviewed thousands of vehicles over the past few decades.