Mercedes-Benz integrates Apple’s Siri personal assistant into its vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has now integrated Apple’s iPhone comprehensively into the user experience concept of the new A-Class, as the first automotive manufacturer in the world to take this step. Thanks to a new “Digital DriveStyle App”, developed in-house, together with the “Drive Kit Plus for the Apple iPhone,” drivers can now access all the key content of their Apple iPhone through the in-vehicle display and enjoy safe and convenient operation of the device via the Controller on the center armrest. The attractive ‘look’ is ensured by the revolutionary user interface design. In a further world premiere, Mercedes-Benz will enable access to the voice-based intelligent companion Siri in the vehicle. This allows natural speech input, without the need for specific commands, to send messages, select music tracks and check the weather forecast or stock prices, as well as to make appointments. All the iPhone® integration functions can be used even with the entry-level Audio 20 system.

This seamless integration of the Apple® iPhone® into the vehicle, in conjunction with the new revolutionary user interface design, means that Mercedes-Benz is now able to offer the Facebook generation its natural home on four wheels, in the form of the new A-Class. Along with Facebook, Twitter and so on, the “Digital DriveStyle App” developed by Daimler offers further services and content to suit the digital lifestyle and will be available to download free of charge from the Apple iTunes store. Its highlights include:

• Personalized internet radio by AUPEO! Personal Radio, which offers radio stations that compile an individual program for listeners and recommend similar music by genre or artists based on personal taste.
• he advanced navigation software from Garmin, with internet-based real-time traffic information, online POI searches and 3D map display, all of which work even in combination with the entry-level multimedia system Audio 20

• A socially interactive experience involving “sharing”, “posting” and the integration of music and other content from social networks including text-to-speech.

• An intuitive ‘Car Finder’ which automatically stores the vehicle’s location. Pedestrian navigation makes it completely easy to find your way back to the car.

• Access to the voice-based intelligent companion Siri.

New here is also the contextual and location-based display of menu content under the headings “Social”, “Media” and “Places”. The basic logic behind this was presented by Daimler for the first time in January of this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Appearing under the heading “Social”, for example, are the various friends and latest news from the social networks.

The user interface design is unique and revolutionary. Transparent symbols are illuminated in red to create three-dimensionally arranged navigation levels. Within the three-dimensional illustration provided by this menu structure, the user can move intuitively between the various functions in fluid, animated transitions. The user interface concept was designed and implemented by designers and engineers in the Mercedes-Benz research and development center in Palo Alto, California/USA. Enlarging the display of content on the screen to an appropriate format for use in a vehicle and allowing it to be controlled through the ergonomically positioned Controller on the center armrest makes operating the system both safe and easy.

The iPhone is connected through an interface developed by Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH. This allows content to be fed directly from the graphics output of the device to the display of the vehicle. At the same time, the iPhone® is both powered and charged automatically while it is being used.

Full iPhone integration is not only possible in conjunction with the COMAND Online multimedia system. All functions, including navigation, can also be used even with the entry-level Audio 20 system. Mercedes-Benz is thus making it possible for the A-Class’s younger target group in particular to continue their digital lifestyle seamlessly inside the vehicle. Both the “Digital DriveStyle App” and the “Drive Kit Plus for the Apple® iPhone®” will be making their debut in the new A-Class, which will be celebrating its world premiere at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and are also planned to be available from autumn 2012 for the B-, C- and E-Class.

Always at your service: the voice-based intelligent companion Siri

As the first automotive manufacturer to do so, Mercedes-Benz will be introducing Siri in a vehicle with easy access to it from the “Digital DriveStyle App”. While conventional voice recognition software demands the use of specific spoken commands, Siri understands natural speech patterns and will even ask questions in return should more information be needed in order to complete a given task.

Siri is a function of the latest iPhone generation, 4S, and acts as a personal assistant. Given verbal instructions, for example, it will access the personal calendar to make or decline requests for appointments or meetings. SMS text messages can be dictated or read out, and emails sent. Siri™ can also be used as a convenient way of accessing the complete range of music stored on an iPhone® or to request the latest weather forecast.

Always up-to-date: COMAND Online with Cloud technology and Mercedes-Benz App Shop

Safe and convenient access to the internet on the move is already available in a whole series of Mercedes-Benz models: the fully integrated multimedia system COMAND Online was introduced in 2011. As well as innovative applications such as Google Local Search including Google Street View and Panoramio, Mercedes-Benz is the only manufacturer to offer the option of sending individually preconfigured routes from Google Maps on a PC to the vehicle. The internet connection that is required for the functions in COMAND Online is established via a mobile telephone Bluetooth link and a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Mercedes-Benz is firmly convinced that the future lies with cloud computing. The software used in the COMAND Online applications is not stored in the vehicle, but runs off the Daimler Vehicle Backend. The advantage of this is that applications can be continually updated in the cloud, and new applications released to Mercedes-Benz customers, without the need to visit a workshop.

In this sense on March 31st, 2012 a new Mercedes-Benz App to access News will be available to COMAND Online customers.

Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Apps for COMAND Online will be offered soon in the new Mercedes-Benz App Shop. The first two Mercedes-Benz Apps to become available in the App Shop will be the Parking Finder and Morningstar Finance, that offers access to stock prices.

It is planned to introduce a dozen or so new applications each year. To this end, Daimler has set up App Development Groups in both Palo Alto, California/USA, and Bangalore, India.

Source: Daimler AG


    1. I Lol’d.

      However, this will be way more awesome than any ridiculous in-car system I’ve seen. They have, so far, sucked.

      Siri Integration will be amazing. Now if only apple would give us a better maps app! 🙁 🙁 🙁

      I wish the maps app would be updated already! because I want 3d maps and turn by turn GPS! 😛

        1. I agree… and it has turn by turn navigation. Maybe because the interface isn’t as good as googles.. who knows.. they could have map quest step it up a bit and cut out google… that would slightly piss them off 😀

      1. Bought a Golf TDI after walking out of the Ford showroom and seeing the Cheeze-Whiz Interior and Stync by Microsoftopoly badge. I wanted to give a US car a try, seeing as Ford DIDN’T take a bailout like GM & Chrysler, but couldn’t go for that FUGLY car.

        As to the M-B kit, the A Series is not sold in the US. Too bad, as it’s a nice little car.

        1. The A Series is coming out THIS YEAR in the US.

          Mercedes-Benz is actually releasing ten new models in the next two years, including five that will be priced less than a C Class.

          I sell Mercedes-Benz and I can confirm that some very cool stuff is just around the corner.

          They are targeting the Honda/Toyota buyer.

  1. Mercedes are for old fogeys and fuddy duddies. Therefore, it will have a 3.5″ placeholder for the old farts on this channel who prefer a 3.5″ screen.

    BMW, on the other hand, will incorporate a 4″ holder to show the way where the iPhone 5 will be going. The iPhone for “the rest of us.”

    1. you continue to display your woeful ignorance of anything outside of you narrow field of interest. To say Mercedes is for fuddy-duddies and BMW is cutting-edge is laughable, Mercedes have, and continue to have, proper historical racing credentials, along with Audi, which BMW can’t match, dammit, the BMW turbojets that were supposed to power the Messerschmitt Me262 had to be replaced with Junkers jets because the BMW ones didn’t work! Merc works with the likes of McLaren to produce performance saloons and coupé’s with blistering performance. Perhaps if you got out of your Toyota Pius and spent some time actually looking at proper performance cars you wouldn’t make such ridiculous statements. Attaching to it your tragic obsession with bigger screens just makes you the sort of person small children point at in the street and laugh at.

      1. The latest Benzes are amazing, and they are also super reliable.

        Last year we overtook Lexus in market share for the first time in many years.

        Te Japanese Tsunami was partly responsible for that, but so was te incredible new offerings from MB.

        Stop in to a dealership and prepare to be blown away!

    2. You are completely out of touch.

      Mercedes-Benz has something for everyone.

      When you’re finally tired if getting beaten up by the road in your BMW, hit me up.

      I drive a 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250. My wife drives a 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL450.

      They are both loaded, and continue to amaze me every time I get behind the wheel.

  2. Why Ford went with MicroDog is beyond me. Ford wasted precious years of R&D with Apple. It is just a matter of time before flavors of Mercedes-Benz COMAND Online are copied by competitors & available as an options on their vehicles.

  3. The Audi A7 has a T-Mobile SIM that gives 3D Google maps on the built-in GPS screen.
    It has its own voice commands, but with the iPhone connected by Bluetooth, SIRI also works seamlessly for phone functions. That being said, true SIRI integration would be even better if it controlled all the car functions as well.

  4. The new Cadillac CUE system looks very cool as well. I think the auto manufacturers are finally understanding that they can’t simply have a little menu with lots of submenus, but a truly fast, attractive, and easy-to-use (Apple-like!) system or they will hear it from their customers.

    1. Crapillac! The ultimate old man/lady car. The world’s most expensive Crapolet! You ARE joking, right.

      Crapillacs look like they were styled by a 4th grader who cannot draw a curved line. Nothing but chunky angles & cheap GM components.

        1. Used to live in Germany. No they cannot. Crapillac is an overpriced Crapolet from Government Motors.

          FYI- don’t buy the BS story about GM paying all the money back. GM in bankruptcy was split and all the liability was dumped into one company and all the surviving assets in the other. Factor in the GMAC (Ally Bank) bailout and the Delco bankruptcy and GM cost the taxpayer better than $50 Billion that has not been repaid.

          GM was so appreciative that they went out and built 6 new car plants in China. GM now makes more cars in China than in the US.

  5. A-Class!?! Isn’t that the small vehicle they only sell in Europe? Looks like a shrunken M-Class SUV?

    At least, it’s on their entry level vehicle and not starting at the high-end S-Class, as is usual. I have a feeling this option will cost you $1000+, no iPhone included.

  6. I just read that TOYOTA went to Samsung for info entertainment integration, I’m deeply disappointed.
    My Tacoma has an option for iPod /iPhone but it cost $300, for that price I better go with Pioneer’s “App Radio”.
    I really like Toyota trucks but I’m not going to get that low and change my iPhone for an android phone 

  7. I sell and drive Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and I called this when Siri was first demonstrated.

    This is one of the reasons I prefer a short-term lease.

    I get the latest and greatest that much faster. 😁👍

  8. I’ll believe it when I see it, but they should shoot higher than Honda and Toyota who are both trading on their rep. When shopping last spring for a compact to commute in I was NOT impressed with the sh*t they were selling. Went to VW and bought a nice Golf TDI (German made- unlike the Jetta and Passat).

  9. Did anybody really envision a Mercedes Benz with a Microsoft Windows sticker, (and ‘Intel Inside’, Fb, and RealPlayer stickers), or the Android logo, on the M-B dashboard?

    Of course Mercedes went with elegance and best performance, and that means Apple.

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