Google isn’t the only company out there interested in putting self-driving cars on the road, and the search giant may have some serious competition in the future, with companies such as Mercedes-Benz also looking to offer passengers smart cars that drive themselves around. Unlike Google’s cutesy self-driving car concept, the new autonomous car unveiled on Monday by Mercedes-Benz looks more like the luxurious smart car you’d want to own in the future. More →
For car lovers around the world, the annual International Geneva Motor Show is one of the most exciting and important events of the year. Many automakers use the event to show off the most exciting innovations they have to offer, and while the concepts on display in Switzerland each March don’t always become available to the public in the years that follow, they often give us a good idea of where things in the industry are headed down the road.
And as is always the case, it’s just good old-fashioned fun to check out all of the crazy concept cars on display at the show every year. More →
Technology in cars doesn’t change as frequently as it does in some other industries, but lately there has been a huge emphasis on what connected technologies can add to a car. On this week’s episode of The BGR Show, we visit Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. headquarters in Montvale, NJ to take a look at the company’s brand new 2013 SL550 featuring the latest Mercedes technology. There’s never been as much focus on the dashboard as there is now, and Mercedes is rolling out something called mbrace 2.0 starting with the SL, which will then hit roll out to other classes this year. Mbrace 2.0 brings apps to the dashboard with things like live Google search (complete with Street View), Yelp, and even Facebook. The brand new sunroof on the hardtop convertible is called MAGIC SKY, and it uses electrically charged glass to allow the roof to go from clear to tinted with the push of a button. You can also get more control over your vehicle by setting up geo-fences that will alert you if your car enters or exits a designated location, and you can even create speed alerts, so if your teenager takes your car and goes above a certain speed you’ll get an alert on your phone. Lastly, the new system from Mercedes is cloud-based and will automatically download updates itself, so you’re not going to have to bother with bringing your car to a dealership to get it updated anymore — this is the future, people.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled plans to integrate Apple’s Siri voice assistant into its A-Class vehicles, according to a report from PSFK. The integration would allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using voice commands. The feature is being called the Drive Kit Plus program and will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’ Digital DriveStyle app to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car display. The program will feature compatibility with popular apps such as Twitter and Facebook pre-installed, and drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio stations, update their status on social networks and send text messages using voice commands as well. According to the report, the car’s integrated Garmin navigation system will be also compatible with Siri commands. Mercedes-Benz is the first car maker to integrate Apple’s voice assistant into a vehicle, with the feature reportedly set to debut at the 2012 Geneva auto show next month and a rollout to all A-Class vehicles scheduled to begin this fall. More →
Mercedes-Benz is on an environmentally conscious tear as of late, launching two hybrid vehicles last year, and now an entirely zero emission fuel cell car this December. We were given an opportunity to test drive the new F-Cell vehicle in Manhattan and learn more about the car. For starters, when thinking about what Mercedes has done with this specific vehicle, it’s mind blowing in itself. A non-combustion engine car that is powered off of hydrogen with zero emissions. Did you ever think you’d see the day? As a car lover, just hopping into the driver’s seat of the F-Cell was an experience. Zipping around downtown New York City in the car was… just like driving a gas-powered vehicle, except, there was no noise. I’ve driven dual-mode hybrid cars before, and I have gotten used to not hearing an engine at some times, but no engine sound at all? Borderline ghostly. While the B-Class-based F-Cell has an all electric motor rated at 136 horsepower and 214 pounds of torque, it definitely didn’t feel underpowered. Plus, once we got over the sound of no sound from the engine, there wasn’t much to complain about. It’s the first fuel-cell car from Mercedes, and while it’s not exactly the most luxurious or stylish model in their lineup, neither is a Prius. Being powered 100% by hydrogen lends itself to one main issue: finding a hydrogen refueling station. Now, there are a couple around the NYC area (White Plains, NY, Wallingford, CT, Bronx, NY), but when the F-Cell touches down in December for consumer leasing, it’s going to be heading to the state of California — mostly Los Angeles and San Francisco where there are plenty of hydrogen stations. You might notice how we said leasing and not purchasing, and that’s because the car will only be offered by way of a lease, and while Mercedes wouldn’t confirm pricing information to us, we’ve heard it will run around $550-$750/month. Definitely on the higher end of the spectrum, but for a car that literally emits water instead of toxic sludge — representing the future of the automotive industry — all we can say is, sign us up.
A lot of people loved our tech-focused segment on the all-new 2010 Mercedes E-Class and we’re following up with a nice video overview of the vehicle. We were lucky enough to meet with Bart Herring who is product manager for the E-Class series, and in addition to giving us a great presentation on the car, took some time to help put this video together.
Recently I visited Mercedes-Benz’s headquarters in Montvale, NJ to see their all-new 2010 E-Class vehicles. You might be thinking we’re pulling an Autoblog, but we’re not. If you knew the amount of technology and engineering in the new E-Class… well, you’re actually about to.
When you begin to look at how much effort, planning, design, testing, and money goes into creating a line of cars, you realize it’s not an easy task. Forget about competition from other manufacturers, just hearing and seeing the process of how it’s done was an incredible experience for me. We’re going to focus on just some of the technological features in the E-Class which is more than we could ever imagine, so once you add that in with every other component in a car, it’s really amazing. I was lucky enough to get a whole sense of how the process works and how it’s executed. I also test drove two 2010 E-Class vehicles, the E550 Coupe and the E63 AMG Sedan. Read on for my experience and an overview of some of the amazing stuff in the E-Class.
Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz North America is a past and present advertiser on BGR.