Mercedes-Benz is developing a new in-house operating system to power the next generation of electric vehicles. Announced today at an event held by the automaker in California, Mercedes said MB.OS – short for Mercedes-Benz Operating System – will bring improvements to safety, automated driving and navigation.
The automaker is working with several partners to build its new software stack, including NVIDIA, Luminar and Google. Mercedes will lean on NVIDIA for the company’s software, data and AI expertise. The GPU maker will power the first generation of electric cars built by Mercedes based on the upcoming Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform. The automaker expects the first MMA EV to arrive by the middle of the decade.
As for Luminar and Google, the former will provide its LiDAR technology to Mercedes, while the latter will work with the company to build a branded navigation experience that incorporates features from Google Maps. Meanwhile, Mercedes is to bring the company’s “Location Data” data to all cars sporting the latest version of its MBUX infotainment system. You can use the integration to search for a local business, find out when it opens, and see photos of the interior and what other Google users are saying about it. Mercedes plans to open up MB.OS to other partners as well, including , Zoom and even Angry birds Rovio developer.
All MMA EVs will ship with the hardware required for Level 2 automated driving. Mercedes is also working with NVIDIA and Luminar to offer Drive Pilot, a Level 3 automated driving system. The software will come later this year in models. Of course, MB.OS will enable Mercedes to deliver over-the-air updates, allowing it to add new features to existing cars.
The company isn’t shy about the fact that some upgrades may cost a one-time fee or come as part of a . In fact, Mercedes has already announced a handful of software packages it will offer car owners with MB.OS. MB.Connect, for example, will bring together the company’s navigation, entertainment and communication features in one package. Other rounds, such as MB.Charge, will give customers priority access to Mercedes-Benz charging stations. The automaker says it will let drivers inspect and purchase upgrades for their Benz online, via the Mercedes mobile app and directly from the car.
“The company is confident that this strategic approach to software and hardware development will be the basis for lifetime revenue as well as additional contributions,” Mercedes said, adding that it expects software revenue from bundles like MB.Connect to contribute “low-to–. mid-single digit billion euro figure” to the bottom line by the middle of the decade.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.