Connectivity has emerged as the core element in cars
While most luxury carmakers offer different levels of connectivity technology, Mercedes-Benz India has the largest base of connected cars for a luxury carmaker with over 37,000 such cars. “More than 80 per cent of our customers use the ‘Mercedes me connect’ technology on a daily basis, which is integrated with their phones and voice devices,” Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, told FE. “Not only our new cars get ‘Mercedes me connect’, but we also offer the ‘Mercedes me’ adapter solutions to our older cars.”
Schwenk added that from being an additional feature a while ago, connectivity has emerged as the core element in cars. “Our customers want to experience connectivity, just like they would experience luxury, performance and safety,” he said. “With increasing time spend inside a car, connectivity is on top of current customer demand.”
The ‘Mercedes me connect’ technology integrates three aspects of a customer’s life—(1) the smartphone, (2) the car itself, and (3) home, voice integration with Alexa and Google Home.
The ‘Mercedes me connect’ in smartphone functionality includes vehicle health, vehicle stats check, location, remote lock-unlock, geo-fencing, etc.
The in-car functionality includes eCall, meCall (assistance), weather check, online search, Hey Mercedes (MBUX voice commands).
The home functionality includes voice assistance with Alexa and Google Home integration. With this, a customer has access to a range of infotainment/entertainment services on the go, navigation system through third-party apps, safety features to reduce the chances of an accident, and remote access to various functions of the vehicle.
Som Kapoor, partner, Automotive Sector, EY India, pointed out that connectivity is one of the four pillars of the future of mobility, defined as the ACES (autonomous, connected, electric, shared). “A paradigm shift is taking place towards connectivity,” he said. “It’s not limited to cars; it’s in kitchen devices, home appliances, everywhere.”
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