- Car Technology
- Mercedes-Benz Showcases Advanced Features of its Digital DriveStyle App at Google I/O
Google I/O is an annual developer conference covering top-class technical, in-depth sessions, and portraying the latest from Google’s product teams and partners. This year's conference, which has taken place annually since 2008, will highlight Mercedes-Benz and its latest inclusion of Google services in the car.
In one of its SL models, Mercedes-Benz will showcase the calibre of the Drive Kit Plus, a mechanism which in association with a smartphone and a hi-tech app delivers well-knit integration of the smartphone into the vehicle's infotainment architecture. And with the Digital DriveStyle App manufactured by Mercedes-Benz, the main attention of the smartphone can be arranged under the umbrella of headings Social, Media and Places and put up on the vehicle display – and also availed seamlessly and suitably while driving with the help of the COMAND controller or by leveraging the voice based intelligent personal assistant. The Drive Kit Plus is accessible as an accessory for virtually all current Mercedes-Benz model series.
Digital DriveStyle App leverages on Google's Places API in the concept version of Digital DriveStyle being showcased at Google I/O, Mercedes-Benz is highlighting the calibre of Google's Places API with four new tech aspects.
Faster search, everywhere you go: The driver will be able to easily find his/her destinations within a flash be it is a street address or nearby food jaunt, thanks to the integration of Google Places Autocomplete API, which suggests the most likely destinations as one types.
Preview destinations on-the-go: Access landmarks, parks, and storefronts all around the globe thanks to the presence of 360-degree Street View imagery and Google+ Local photos.
Know the hottest spots in town: Radar View utilises the Google Places API Radar Search and Heatmaps to navigate the driver to the centre of the action by visualizing areas with high concentrations of night clubs, food jaunts and shopping hubs.
Get live traffic conditions: Inclusion of Google’s traffic service displays a color-coded overlay of real-time traffic conditions on a Google Map.
Digital DriveStyle App will be to be updated in the first half of this year. These aspects are scheduled to be included into the Digital DriveStyle App in the first half of 2013. Customers who already own a Drive Kit Plus and are using the app can bag an updated version via the App Store. This will help them to avoid visiting their Mercedes-Benz dealer or workshop to be equipped with the latest features.
While most of the products as showcased at Google I/O will be offered to the customers, Mercedes-Benz in addition is considering a proof-of-concept feature whose introduction plans are yet to be confirmed: a City Guide using Places API Radar Search to visualize the concentration of various features (nightlife, shopping, and so on) as a graphical overlay on a Google Map.
At the early part of the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz understood the significance of owning a hi-tech innovation hub in the Silicon Valley –in 1995 it turned out to be the world's maiden automotive maker to inaugurate a research site in Palo Alto. Currently, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA) has around 140 employees, the largest workforce of all of the automotive manufacturers located in Silicon Valley.
The Digital DriveStyle App has been exclusively engineered and made in-house by Mercedes-Benz, with the entire features and design having been worked on by MBRDNA. The inclusion of Google content is an outcome of close association between the developers from Mountain View. This has been made possible mainly due to an understanding between Google and Mercedes-Benz, announced at CES 2012.
The Drive Kit Plus, which ensures the smartphone to be attached to the vehicle, was made by Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH. Additional information on the Digital DriveStyle App and the Drive Kit Plus can be accessed at: http://drive-kit-plus.comGlossary.
Smartphone integration: The Drive Kit Plus lays the platform for seamless integration of Apple's iPhone 4/4S into a vehicle. Inclusion of the iPhone 5 is being worked on and will follow suit later this year.
Digital DriveStyle App: an application programmed by Mercedes-Benz which generates the smartphone's main content (currently the iPhone 4/4S) on the vehicle display to enable its access safely and easily while on the road – via the COMAND controller and/or by utilising the voice based intelligent personal assistant (currently Apple's Siri). The app can be bagged free of cost through iTunes via the following link: https://itunes.apple.com/app/digital-drivestyle-app/id518868239?mt=8
Drive Kit Plus:The Drive Kit Plus is a hardware cradle which paves the way for the smartphone to be connected to the vehicle. The Drive Kit Plus can be ordered ex factory for Mercedes-Benz A-Class models. A retrofit solution can also be bagged from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH for virtually all current Mercedes-Benz model series.
Places API: Places API (Application Programming Interface) is a Google offering enabling precise local search for points of interest, including business and address data all around the globe.
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