Mercedes Taps Into Google Home for Hands-Free Everything

2017 to Bring Android Integration to New Benz Vehicles

If you have an Android phone and you have used the “OK, Google’ function to ask it a question or have it complete some task, you already understand just how neat and powerful the technology can be.

All of that utility will be getting integrated into new Mercedes-Benz vehicles come 2017, which will allow for some awesome connectivity between all your tech at home, at work, in the car and on your phone, if you so wish. The possibilities are staggering with this new addition to Mercedes-Benz cars, and considering the speed at which developers can build and release new apps these days, it’s probably not going to be long before we can do things with Google-connected cars that people never dreamed of. I’d offer an example here, but there’s no way I’m giving away my billion-dollar app idea! 😉

One thing I do wonder about, though, is just how deep the connectivity is going to go. It would be truly amazing if it could, on its own, discover an issue and let you know that you need to order a new Mercedes-Benz transmission for your vehicle.

Honestly, though, I look forward to turning on the heat in my car before I get in by telling my phone to take care of it and during the commute home tell my car to get the heater in my house running so it can be comfortable inside right when I get there.

 

Mercedes-Benz today announced the integration of the Google Assistant on Google Home. Google Home, a voice-activated personal assistant, makes it possible to interact with the Mercedes-Benz vehicle from home. The feature will be available to Mercedes-Benz customers in 2017.

The collaboration with the Google Assistant is part of Mercedes-Benz long-term goal of creating an intelligent ecosystem around cars, and leveraging cutting-edge technology to make everyday life more convenient for their customers. With this integration, Google Home users can send destination to their Mercedes-Benz Cars; set and activate heating and cooling systems within their vehicles; find out fuel and charge levels; check lock status as well as interact with their cars in order to lock doors and many more—all from the comfort of their home. Continue Reading

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Mercedes-Benz New S-Class Package is Surprisingly Cool

“Night Edition” S-Class Coupe a Thing of Beauty

Sporting slick black accenting and a look that uses both high luxe and sportiness thanks to it having AMG parts as well, the new Night Edition of the S-Class Coupe looks like one of the best ‘dark’ edition cars we have ever seen.

From bumper to bumper and rims to beautiful rims, this is seriously one very impressive looking Benz and we can’t wait for the public debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

 

Christmas might be right around the corner, but Mercedes-Benz is preparing a package perhaps better suited for Halloween with the new S-Class Coupe Night Edition. Like every other evening edition on the market, the special edition S-Class gets a bunch of glossy black accents.

Mercedes finishes the grille, 20-inch AMG wheels, mirror housings, and side sills in the dark shade, and then affixes a “Night Edition” badge on the front fenders.

The paint, Selenite Gray Magno, is a stylish matte shade, although Mercedes calls it an optional item – there’s no breakdown of other available colors, although we’re guessing they’re similarly dark and mysterious. Continue Reading

 

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Hyundai On the Offensive with New Luxe Brand

New Luxury Car Brand Genesis Has a Ton of Potential

(And Should Probably Scare the Heck Out of Other Luxury Manufacturers)

It looks like Hyundai really isn’t messing around when it comes to getting their new luxury brand Genesis off the ground. The new subsidiary car company already has somewhere around 350 dealerships across the country where the vehicles are available new and while that’s all well and good, there are some neat promises that will accompany the brand to up their luxury game.

For one, they intend on making most trips to the dealership a thing of the past when it comes to getting scheduled maintenance or repairs taken care of. Instead, they are planning to bring a loaner car right to the customer’s home and take the owned Genesis with them. Likewise, they’ll deliver the car back to the owner when the work has been completed. Where this differs from other brands is that it is a company-wide effort to offer this level of service as opposed to one that may or may not be offered from dealer to dealer.

What is crazy to think about is just how quick Hyundai began their move into luxury automaking. As pointed out by Chris Woodyard for USA Today, “Other luxury brands had years to plan the spinoff of their luxury brands. Hyundai did it in nine months.”
That also meant a heck of a lot more work than just designing and building the cars themselves, which Woodyard explained further, saying, “It’s fallen to a veteran auto executive Erwin Raphael to try to create a separate identity around the brand called Genesis. That has meant trying to get the word out and educate the dealer network about what it’s going to take to please luxury customers.”

Now, this move into the Luxury market by Hyundai should be more than just a little scary when it comes to other luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Acura, Lexus and others. In recent years, Hyundai has proven ridiculously capable when it comes to marketing and rebranding. Starting from scratch with a new brand should mean it is just that much easier for them to quickly build a reputation and a following.

Let’s look at what they did with the core Hyundai brand. Although they have been making cars since the late ‘60s, Hyundai didn’t really come into its own in the U.S. until the company started aggressively marketing here in 2000. Previous to that, they were barely regarded as decent when it came to bargain car companies were concerned, and honestly that view of them is generous considering they were not even close to being a recognizable household name at the time.

Since then, Hyundai has seen one of the most impressively meteoric growths ever witnessed in the automotive industry, and their growth is still going.

Less than a decade ago in 2008, the Hyundai Motor had barely broken into the top ten car manufacturers in the world. By 2012, they had made their way to the number five spot and currently they are the third largest car manufacturer on the planet, behind only Toyota and Volkswagen. They even own the single biggest car factory on Earth, which can be found in South Korea and builds more than one-and-a-half million cars every year in that one location alone.

As if all of that wasn’t scary enough to their competition, Genesis Motors has some real heavy hitters on their side when it comes to the luxury car manufacturing industry. Specifically, this is Genesis senior vice president Manfred Fitzgerald and brand designing lead Luc Donckerwolke. Fitzgerald used to be the director of brand and design for a little car company called Lamborghini. Donckerwolke was the design director for Bentley, Audi and Lamborghini.

Nevertheless, there is one thing that us Mercedes-Benz lovers can always be happy about no matter how the probable Genesis vs. Mercedes-Benz battle plays out: We have access to an incredible selection of beautiful and powerful classics that no new company could ever hope to compete with. Sure, that may not offer much peace of mind to Daimler, but it sure is for us. There really isn’t much more in the world that is nearly as cathartic as replacing a classic Mercedes-Benz transmission and taking a spin in a 35-year old car that rides like it’s brand new.

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A Look at the Design Work and Luxury of Mercedes-Benz

New Book to Explore the Aesthetics of Mercedes

While much of the classic design work and the luxuries offered by Mercedes-Benz is alone worth checking out in the book Sensual Purity – Gorden Wagener on Design, there is a section that looks like it will be extremely interesting to peruse through. That is the chapter titled “Mercedes-Benz Future World”.

In that part of the book (as you probably have guessed), they show all sorts of things that we can expect from Mercedes-Benz in upcoming years. In particular, this show an intimate look at the autonomous cars that the German automaker has in the works. Furthermore, there is imagery and discussion about the expansion of Mercedes-Benz, including looks at yachts, buildings, and even roads and bridges.

What is particularly interesting about the book as a whole is that its cover doesn’t have any kind of branding showing it off as a Benz product in any way. Though pretty much everything in the book itself does have a connection in some way to Mercedes, it still apparently stands as a great addition to the design world (something that would be discussed further here if we were actually part of that world, but alas…).

If you are more interested in getting your car looking better aesthetically, we have all sorts of classic Mercedes-Benz car parts, but one of the easier changes you can make is by grabbing some new rims.

 

Mercedes-Benz creates under the banner ‘Sensual Purity’, a term Gorden Wagener coined to represent the German marque’s two poles. “Rational and emotional, hot and cool,” offers the Daimler AG chief design officer.

He admits the philosophy has greatly helped guide him to formulate a contemporary design identity for the brand, a visual language that is reflected in the current family of cars.

Sensual Purity – Gorden Wagener on Design guides us through this philosophy. Published by Condé Nast International, it is a collaborative project involving Wagener, the photographer Jonathan Glynn-Smith and a creative team at Mercedes and the publisher. Continue Reading

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In The Race Between Hyper Hatches, Just How Much Faster is Mercedes?

Mercedes-AMG vs Honda

Carwow hosted a recent video featuring a quarter mile drag race between the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Honda Civic Type R, both Hot Hatches with the Mercedes costing an extra third of the Honda’s entire price.

Of course the race was to see just how much faster the Mercedes was with the added features of 4 wheel drive and launch control.

 

We live in an era where hot hatches are divided into two different performance categories: the normal hot-hatches, which are the ones that offer all the usual traits and the so-called hyper hatches, a new breed of compact performance cars that pack so much grunt, they can easily embarrass a less skilled supercar driver at the traffic lights.

 

Both the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Honda Civic Type R belong to the hot-hatch universe; but the German model is the one packing significantly more power and a bigger price tag.

 

The point of this drag race is not to find out which of the two models is the fastest on a straight line, Continue Reading

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Mercedes Running Pilot Test of Croove Car-Sharing Service

Interesting New Car-Sharing Feature from Mercedes-Benz

Alternate means of transportation have been rapidly growing in the last couple years. Uber and Lyft, the ridesharing services have exploded in popularity and have almost wiped out traditional taxi services in many locations. Mercedes’ Croove service might be the revolution that kills traditional car rental services as it is intended to connect renters directly with vehicle owners to rent directly. Croove allows users to enter in parameters about what make, model and luxury features they require in their rental car and will return a list of available options for the renter’s timeframe needed.

The clever app can help people get a taste of what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a Mercedes, but surprisingly the service is not a Mercedes exclusive, instead Daimler has set out to have any car available on the service so long as it is in good condition and is no more than 15 years of age. That last limitation can be a bit of a bummer for anyone who would want to rent a classic for their trip to Italy – but it makes sense as far as difficulty of insurance goes.

So despite the decision to have their service allow for any manufacturer’s cars to go up into the rental program, it seems Mercedes has found out a clever means of making a profit here that will benefit them more than most over auto companies.

Croove will not only get new drivers behind the wheels of Mercedes, enjoying that posh interior or smoothest ride possible suspension offering the perfect carriage for their business trip or vacation. That is definitely a beneficial marketing move – but even more than that, the new Croove service could offer prospective Mercedes buyers a means to actually afford their payments on that new luxury coup they’ve been eyeing as they can rent out their new Mercedes every once and awhile and take the bite off their payments giving access to luxury cars to income brackets who’d never think of them before.

 

It’s become a well-trod refrain, but carmakers are looking at what comes after ownership, and car-sharing between individual owners and renters is one of those models. Mercedes-Benz has begun its own car-share service that adopts that approach – Croove, a platform that has now launched as a pilot in Munich, Germany.

Croove is pure peer-to-peer car rental model, where renters use an app to make choices about what model, trim level and other options they’re looking for in a car. The app will poll its database of registered vehicle owners in the area and find out what’s available for the time and duration need by the renter, and connect the dots.  Continue Reading

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What Happens In The Void of Champion Nico Rosberg’s Retirement?

Can Mercedes Compete After Rosberg?

Mercedes Racing management had only a couple day’s notice that their new championship driver Rosberg intended to retire now that he’s rode to the championship in Mercedes’ racing machine, which has left the German auto team scrambling for a new driver for the 2017 season.

It seems that Valtteri Bottas is the first choice of Mercedes, but they intend not to make an official announcement until January third so we’ll be on the edge of our seats until then.

Rosberg was a fantastic driver who took advantage of what Mercedes could put under the hood, but Mercedes is certain to find more competent drivers to fill out their team in the wake of Rosberg.

 

In recent days it’s become clear that Valtteri Bottas is Mercedes’ first choice to replace Nico Rosberg – and that Williams is open to negotiating the Finn’s release. Adam Cooper explores the implications of a potential deal.

Two weeks have passed since Nico Rosberg’s retirement decision sent shockwaves through F1, and left the Mercedes management scrambling to find a new teammate for Lewis Hamilton.

The team said on Thursday that there would be no announcement before January 3, so that has at least left observers of this extraordinary situation a chance to catch their collective breath. Continue Reading

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