Dr. Kal Mos, Engineering Director for Mercedes-Benz R&D, North America, demonstrates future in-vehicle entertainment and information systems at the company's Palo Alto lab.
In the fourth post from our visit to Mercedes' North American research lab in Palo Alto (Disclosure: MB is a sponsor of BBG), we discover that COMAND's next-gen media streaming user interface is uninviting (and unfinalized) but effective: think the 1990s web, but with modern features like high-def YouTube videos, Facebook or Twitter integration, and Google or Mapquest Maps. As these features rely on more consistently available and faster networks than what we have today, it'll be introduced when a next-gen cellular network (i.e. LTE) is live in the USA. Mercedes-Benz cars in Europe, however, will be ahead of the game, as LTE 4G cellular networks are set to go live next year.
Some features are disabled while the vehicle is in motion, to ensure that the driver is not distracted. Most intriguing are plans for an app store operating along similar lines to Apple's. Developers will be free to create new programs that run in-dash. APIs, however, will be strict: if you think Cupertino keeps a close an eye on its devs, look away now.