Mercedes extending functions that can be improved via over-the-air updates
Mercedes-Benz is further extending the list of programs and systems in the vehicles that can be upgraded through updates over the air (OTA).
Using the OTA system, completely new features can be downloaded in vehicles that are already being used by customers. "Not just software updates, but also features which haven't even been invented yet can be (downloaded on old vehicles)," says Georges Massing, Head of Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Mercedes-Benz AG. These updates are available as standard for Mercedes vehicles with MBUX infotainment system. MBUX customers around the world can also visit the Mercedes me Store to book and add additional services and optional extras.
Functions which are already on board more recently built models are available for downloading on older vehicles depending on its age. Currently, Mercedes A-Class customers who have been using MBUX since 2018 are receiving OTA for additional streaming services TIDAL and Amazon Music as well as access to the Mercedes me Store in MBUX.
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The company plans take forward its update strategy with the new S-Class. The vehicle's electronics architecture allows over-the-air updating of more than 50 control units inside and of the entire MBUX system, including the central display, without a workshop visit.
The OTA system started with Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the the US in 2013 and since then more than twelve million over-the-air updates have been downloaded on the company's vehicles. Updating of the navigation maps of vehicle first began with the E-Class in 2016. Now, customers can activate the automatic updating of the maps over the air every three months.
Using the Mercedes me Store, customers can add features like Smartphone Integration such as CarPlay or Android Auto, In-Car Office or the digital radio DAB+ for optimum radio reception, among others. The store also allows quick renewal of services whose subscription has expired.
Some features such as the 'Hey Mercedes' voice assistant doesn't even require to be updated. MBUX being a hybrid system draws upon data and software stored in the vehicle as well as upon information stored in the cloud. Thus, the voice assistant constantly learns new words and phrases through exchange with the cloud. Additionally, latest traffic and weather information is constantly transferred to the vehicle.