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Mercedes previews new MB.OS infotainment and software tech

New system will make its debut on MMA-based model from the middle of the decade, offering new infotainment, autonomous driving and “flexible upgrade” features

Mercedes EQXX dash

Mercedes has revealed initial details of its new MB.OS operating system that will become central to all of the brand’s future products once the tech makes its debut on an all-new car from the middle of the decade.

The MB.OS system is a full software suite that incorporates new infotainment, according to the brand – but it goes beyond this facet too, linking other areas of the car. Merc says it will partner with other tech firms – including access to Google features and Maps – while it will also offer music, video, gaming and productivity features. 

According to the German firm, the new MB.OS infotainment is “vastly superior to smartphone mirroring thanks to full-width screen, immersive sound and voice control activation.” Although the brand hasn’t given an indication of how this will look just yet, the dash display could mirror the set-up seen on the brand’s groundbreaking Vision EQXX concept car.

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The German firm will partner with tech company Nvidia, utilising the Nvidia Drive platform for new autonomous driving features and assistance systems, with MB.OS delivering “enhanced Level 2 functionality tailored to urban use cases” (think assistance tech such as lane centring, adaptive cruise control etc.) while Level 3 (full self-driving in some situations) will be possible at up to 80mph. 

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Mercedes also says that MB.OS will “offer flexible upgrades”. With over-the-air software update capability, Mercedes’ fleet of connected cars will be able to feed back data to improve certain features, but the firm also makes reference to customers being offered new features via app, web or car. Think subscription services, such as heated seats, for example, but also servicing and charging. 

These will be packaged into three bundles: MB.CONNECT, MB.CHARGE and MB.DRIVE. The former will integrate sat-nav, remote functions and other communications and entertainment tech and services, MB.CHARGE will give owners access to flexible charging tariffs depending on how much they drive as part of Mercedes’ plans to offer its own rapid-charge network, while MB.DRIVE relates to autonomous functions fitted to the car and from 2025 Mercedes says that certain features will be able to be upgraded over the car’s life.

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This is reinforced by the brand’s aim for “unlocking financial opportunity” with the introduction of MB.OS. It’s no secret that Mercedes will focus more on profit margin rather than sales volumes in the future and will realign its range with a greater emphasis on luxury for its next generation of models. MB.OS will deliver “software-enabled revenues” for the company, it says.

“We are dedicated to building the world’s most desirable cars,” Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius said, adding “We made the decision to be the architects of our own operating system – a unique chip-to-cloud architecture that leverages its full access to our vehicles’ hardware and software components.

“By combining this in-house expertise with a selection of world-class partners, we will create an outstanding customer experience, from driving assistance, navigation and entertainment, all the way to integrated charging. MB.OS will feature full upgradeability and constant improvements.”

The new model that will herald the arrival of the MB.OS platform will likely be an all-electric compact saloon car to rival the Tesla Model 3, which will be based on the new Mercedes Modular Architecture. Expect to see this car - and the new MB.OS tech - potentially revealed later this year.

Click here for all the latest on the Mercedes Vision EQXX...

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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