>> Mercedes‑Benz is enhancing its "MBUX Voice Assistant" with a new Mercedes me service – the "Tourguide" acoustic travel guide.

Mercedes‑Benz digital services make travelling by car more entertaining and interesting for many customers. Right on time for the summer holiday season, the brand is launching the new Mercedes me "Tourguide" service as part of the "MBUX Voice Assistant". When prompted, the acoustic travel guide reads out interesting and entertaining information about attractions along the route on German autobahns, providing a fun way to pass the time when travelling on holiday.

"Tourguide" – The acoustic travel guide from Mercedes‑Benz

The "Tourguide" audio travel guide is available as part of the "MBUX Voice Assistant" from Mercedes me in the EQS, EQE, C‑Class, S‑Class and AMG SL as well as the new GLC and the new EQS SUV, which have been in production since June 1, 2022. It adds an interesting and entertaining feature to the existing travel information functions. In response to the voice command "Hey Mercedes, start Tourguide", the MBUX (Mercedes‑Benz User Experience) infotainment system reads out extensive information about points of interest along the route. Initially, the new audio travel guide is only available in Germany but will later be rolled out in other countries as well. The system responds to the approximately 3,400 brown-coloured tourist information signs along German autobahns.

If "Tourguide" is activated, MBUX automatically reads out useful information on places of interest along the way. On holiday trips or weekend getaways, or even for business travellers, "Tourguide" provides a welcome and informative interlude on longer journeys. The content for the automatic announcements was created exclusively for Mercedes‑Benz Group AG.

Announcements begin automatically when the car passes the first sign. If the driver takes a break or leaves the autobahn, the service switches off automatically after 90 minutes. Of course, the driver can also deactivate the service at any time, again by voice command or by touch. One especially convenient feature is the connection to automatic route guidance. If the "Tourguide" insights regarding a particular point of interest inspire users to pay it a visit, all they have to do is simply select the navigation function and they will be guided there directly, without having to dictate or enter the names of streets or towns.


>> Mercedes-Benz lays the foundation for a new centre of competence for battery technologies at the heart of its main plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim

>> The Mercedes-Benz eCampus consolidates and expands the group-wide research and development activities for drive systems: Start-up of a factory for small-scale production of battery cells in 2023

>> Triple-digit million euro investment underpins Stuttgart-Untertürkheim's role as a high-tech location for drive technologies as part of the Group's "Electric Only" strategy

Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz today laid the symbolic foundation for a new centre of competence for the research and development of future generations of batteries and battery cells at a ceremony on the site of its main plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. The so-called "Mercedes-Benz eCampus" will gradually start operations from 2023 onwards, and will initially house, among other activities, a factory for the small-scale production of battery cells. By the middle of the decade, the eCampus will be completed with a Battery Safety Lab and various test facilities for testing and trialling new battery generations. Untertürkheim is thereby consolidating its role as a high-tech location for drive technologies as part of the Group's "Electric Only" strategy. Investments amounting to hundreds of millions in the construction and design of the eCampus underpin the future viability of this traditional, almost 120 year-old location.

The ceremony was attended by: Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, responsible for Production & Supply Chain Management, Frank Deiß, Chairman Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems, Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and Plant Manager, Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim, Ida Wolf, Head of Human Resources Powertrain Mercedes-Benz AG and Michael Häberle, Deputy Chairman of the General Works Council of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim site. Mercedes-Benz also welcomed Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Frank Nopper, Lord Mayor of Stuttgart, and Susanne Bay, District President of the Stuttgart administrative district, to the laying of the foundation stone.

Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG: "This groundbreaking ceremony symbolises the future of our traditional location in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. A location that - like no other - stands for the success story of the automobile and Mercedes-Benz. Together with our highly trained and motivated workforce, we are shaping the transition into a new electric era. Untertürkheim will continue to be the centre of Mercedes-Benz drive expertise in the future."

The battery is a key component of electric mobility and an integral part of the vehicle architecture. The consolidation and expansion of research and development activities at the eCampus Untertürkheim plays a key role in the Mercedes-Benz drive strategy. In future, Mercedes-Benz will cover the entire field of battery technology at this location - from (basic) research to development and battery production.

The new Mercedes-Benz eCampus covers an area of several football pitches (>30,000 sq. m.) and follows a holistic building concept that meets Mercedes-Benz's sustainability standards. The conservation of resources and the reduction of energy consumption form the main pillars of this. Around 60% of the roof area is equipped with photovoltaic systems which supply the production shop with green energy as part of the Mercedes-Benz programme for the expansion of renewable energies. The entire roof area will be greened. As in Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, recycled concrete made from demolition material will be used in the façade. The use of reversible heat pumps and accumulators will ensure a sustainable heat supply and air conditioning for the production shop. Hybrid cooling towers will increase the efficiency of the water supply. Mercedes-Benz has been producing on a CO2-neutral basis in all of its own worldwide plants since this year, and has also purchased electricity in Germany exclusively from renewable sources since this year. In addition, the company aims to generally increase the generation of renewable energy at its locations.


>> The two companies intend to provide first customers access to an in-car optimised digital entertainment experience by the end of this year.

Stuttgart/San Francisco. Mercedes-Benz Group AG has agreed to a partnership with ZYNC. The California‑based tech company will provide the world-first implementation of its premium in-car digital entertainment platform for Mercedes-Benz. By aggregating a wide range of owned and 3rd-party digital content onto a single turnkey platform, ZYNC will provide the platform as well as the interface between content partners and existing compatible Mercedes-Benz hardware. The aim of the partnership is to provide customers with a seamless digital entertainment experience tailored to the unique environment inside a Mercedes-Benz, while maximising the benefits of the company’s UI/UX technologies such as the MBUX Hyperscreen. Through ZYNC, Mercedes-Benz customers will be able to access to a wide range of renowned third-party global and local streaming services. The first application of ZYNC is planned for the end of this year in the EQS and S-Class in Europe, with rollout in further models and markets planned for 2023.

Be it news, sports, shows or films, the majority of people consume their favourite streamed content most of the time via their mobile device or television. However, the environment inside a Mercedes-Benz presents a specific array of conditions that offer the chance to provide an immersive cinematic experience of audio‑visual content that goes far beyond merely facilitating playback. Those conditions range from the size, format and position of screens and the bespoke arrangement of speakers to the type of content and the way it is navigated. By focusing exclusively on the circumstances inside the car, the ZYNC platform integrates seamlessly with Mercedes-Benz hardware as well as current and future operating systems to deliver content in a way that maximises the audio-visual sensation, engagement and ease-of-use.

ZYNC provides video streaming, on-demand content, interactive experiences, local video programming, sports, news, gaming and much more through a unified user interface. Over 30 streaming services are available from high-end global, regional and local partners, with additional partners and channels continuously integrated over the air. Most of these channels are included and do not need an individual subscription. The prerequisite for ZYNC is an active Mercedes-Benz me account with the MBUX Entertainment Package, which is currently free of charge for one year from booking and can then be extended for a fee in the Mercedes me portal (country-specific deviations possible).

"We want to offer our customers a unique entertainment experience in their vehicles. Technologically, this is only achievable through the interaction of the best hardware and software. Whether our ENERGIZING Comfort programs, the innovative MBUX Hyperscreen or Dolby Atmos – a Mercedes-Benz is unmistakable and can be experienced with multiple senses. Access to diverse video streaming offerings through ZYNC will soon take our holistic luxury promise to the next level. This underlines our claim to ‘Lead in Car Software’," says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Development and Purchasing.

"Through our partnership with ZYNC, Mercedes-Benz aims to unleash the full potential of in-car entertainment via benchmark-setting hardware like the MBUX Hyperscreen by transforming it into a portal that expands the MBUX digital experience beyond the car. As well as even smoother, more direct and personalised access to owned and third-party content such as ZYNC provides, augmentation with interactive services will help us further deepen customer engagement and dialogue," adds Magnus Östberg, Chief Software Officer, Mercedes-Benz AG.

Dedicated solution maximises benefits of advanced Mercedes-Benz hardware

The partnership with ZYNC leverages and maximises the inherent benefits of the advanced UI/UX of Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems, such as the MBUX Hyperscreen. The aggregation of content means 3rd‑party partners integrate once into the ZYNC platform. The highly scalable cloud-native platform is optimised for low latency on Mercedes-Benz vehicle hardware.

In real terms, this means customers will be able to access a constantly growing array of streaming services. The page layouts are optimised to make the best possible use of the visual quality and resolution provided by the specific infotainment systems and its screens. In line with the Mercedes-Benz’s software strategy, the ZYNC platform offers best-in-class in-vehicle video playback, including adaptive bitrates and minimal on-board caching requirements. Meanwhile, the ZYNC platform itself is compatible with multiple Digital Rights Management (DRM) formats.

Focus on safety with a view to the future of in-car entertainment

At the core of all Mercedes-Benz developments in in-car entertainment and visual content is road safety. The partnership with ZYNC is no exception. When the vehicle is in motion, streaming services are restricted, e.g. to passenger screens or audio only in accordance with local market regulations. Looking to the future, Mercedes-Benz is prepared for the use of video streaming while the car is in motion where approval exists for Level 3 conditionally automated driving.

CES 2023