“The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has cameras that can read road signs and sensors to judge distance to the car in front, but is not yet able to make full use of the hardware,” Edward Taylor and Ilona Wissenbach report for Reuters. “What may sound like a shortcoming is in fact a deliberate strategy by manufacturer Daimler, and a sign of things to come for the global luxury car industry.”
“Owners of the upscale Mercedes compact will be able to add new functions such as predictive cruise control – which lets the car drive itself in some situations – by updating the car’s operating system when the technology becomes available,” Taylor and Wissenbach report. “Taking their cue from gadget makers such as Apple, Daimler and rivals are developing cars to receive software updates that include new tools or even improve fuel efficiency, much in the way an iPad gets new capabilities with each successive operating system. That is a big change – and a potential saving – for an industry used to spending heavily to revamp ageing models. ‘We are entering a new era,’ Mercedes-Benz development chief Thomas Weber told Reuters. ‘Until now, cars retained the properties they had on the day they were purchased.'”
“Upgrades to software are not always popular, however, as Microsoft found with its Windows 8 operating system. Increasing complexity in vehicles can also bring problems,” Taylor and Wissenbach report. “Renault blamed glitches with the R-Link touch-screen entertainment and navigation panel for delays to its Zoe electric car, while Ford tumbled to the bottom end of U.S. vehicle reliability rankings because of flaws in its rival MyFord Touch system.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Lesson for vehicle makers: Choose the right platform or you could easily end up killing your sales.
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