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Mercedes starts 'era' of self-drive cars and remote telematics

Date: 01 August 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Mercedes claims to have set the ball rolling for serious autonomous car production with its luxury S-class due to the vast amounts of technology fitted the new model. Speaking at the launch of the car, Dr. Uwe Ernstberger, vice-president of programme management for Merc's large and luxury cars, said: "Be in no doubt that with the new S-class, Mercedes is launching the era of autonomous driving."

The German company also believes it has the capacity to integrate fully functional telematics systems into its vehicles simply by downloading a piece of software to the car's infotainment system.

The firm's telematics specialist, Tobias Schmid, told BusinessCar: "We can send new apps to the car, so it could be done that way. We're currently thinking about some apps, like ones that help you find your car."

Should Mercedes develop one, it would theoretically allow fleet operators to download a working telematics system in a similar manner to purchasing apps or music from Apple's App Store, negating the need for downtime and the fitment of a physical black box unit.

Marius Klaus, another Mercedes telematics specialist, said: "We've an existing framework in the car - it's an open platform and we could just update it. We're planning to offer extra features and apps in future."