Daimler’s Zetsche Discusses Improvements Coming to Mercedes Cars

Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche delivered a keynote address at IFA this year which focused on three new features coming to Mercedes automobiles. These include Office Manager, Fitness Coach and Personal Assistant.

Office Manager is designed to allow you to work while in your Mercedes on the way to the office. It will alert you of missed emails and calls as well as scheduled calls, which it can initiate. It will monitor the traffic on your way to the office and reroute if there is an issue. Zetsche said they are also looking at integration of WeChat for the China market as well. This should roll out across all models in the first half of 2017.

Fitness Coach was initiated because we all spend too much time sitting – including in the car. The average German sits for seven and a half hours per day, which is a problem that Zetsche characterized as the ‘new smoking’ issue. Mercedes sponsors race car drivers and these drivers experience a lot of stress. But some stress actually drives activity and can help improve performance, noted the race care team fitness coach, Harold Pachner. But there is an optimum point (chart).

Zetsche then described a new seat that will introduce a little bit of forward-backward motion to help activate the muscles a bit and maybe keep you more alert. But it will be more than this. The system will apparently use a range of sensors in the auto to determine more about your mood and alertness and make suggestions for lighting, music, temperature and movement to keep you alert.

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The Personal Assistant service, to be called MercedesMe, will work in and out of the car and is like your own personal concierge. It will help you buy tickets, find restaurants, etc. If you know of a parking garage at your destination, it will drop you off and go park itself, returning upon beckoning. And, the company is now field testing a new system with Bosch in Stuttgart that shares information about available parking spaces with other Mercedes owners. That way, you can navigate to the closest parking spot. It is like Waze but for parking.

Zetsche noted that the average car is parked 23 hours per day, which is a poor utilization of an expensive asset. Another service Mercedes is field testing in Stuttgart with DHL is the pick-up and delivery of packages to your car instead of your home. That way, you don’t have to be home to receive that package – it goes to your car.

He then introduced a new App called Pactris that became available in the Apple App store as of Sept. 1. This allows a user to capture the bar codes of goods they are buying and the app will figure out the best way to pack the items into your Mercedes. That might be handy when you buy a lot of stuff or big items. Personally, I am not sure how many people will use it, but Mercedes seems to be excited about it, so who knows. – CC