In the middle of the highway, halfway to a welldeserved vacation, suddenly the warning symbol for the brakes lights up. What now? Change to the side strip as fast as possible? Wait for the next rest stop or just continue? Often, motorists do not know what to do if any of the up to 80 different control icons light up. Nine out of ten British motorists said in a research of the Accident Advice Helpline that they had seen at least once a dashboard symbol they were unfamiliar with. Many MercedesBenz drivers will not have this problem any longer – thanks to a plug about the size of a matchbox.
The Mercedes me Adapter, which was developed in a technology partnership between Daimler and T-Systems, is part of a retrofit solution for vehicle networking. The “dongle” is in the footwell of the driver, directly at the interface to the vehicle diagnostic system. Via Bluetooth, it transmits vehicle data such as the brake status or the battery voltage to an app on the user’s smartphone. The app in turn is connected via mobile phone with a backend. If, for example, the vehicle has an accident or breakdown, the vehicle data and the position are automatically transmitted via the app to the Daimler Service Center and the driver can be helped immediately.
“With this adapter solution, also those vehicles benefit from Connected Car services that are not already factoryequipped with online services,” says Pascal Schattner, Product Manager for the Mercedes me Adapter at Daimler. For example, if desired, the app provides an automated trip list, helps with fuel price searches and navigates directly to the ap propriate gas station, searches for free parking spaces, and saves the parking position or shows the driver various vehicle data in real time via a live cockpit. With the help of this B2B2C retrofit solution, MercedesBenz dealers improve their marketing and aftersales processes by maintaining digital contact with their customers – even after the warranty expires. The app reminds workshops, among other things, of upcoming service intervals of their customer vehicles, thus enabling them to proactively create an individual offer, for instance for spare parts or special service actions.
“T-Systems delivers the only Daimlerapproved OBD adapter and the smart phone app for the driver and integrates the solution into the IT systems and processes of the vehicle manufacturer as well as its dealers. Since the market launch in early 2016, we have delivered more than 15 app releases with new features,” explains Christian Wengerter, Project Manager Mercedes me Adapter at T-Systems. The Telekom subsidiary operates the backend systems on behalf of Daimler in a highly secure private cloud that complies with the strict German data protection legislation. Today, a sixdigit number of adapters is already in use throughout Europe. “The Mercedes me Adapter is available for 27 passenger car models and four Van models from 2002 onwards – in 21 European countries as well as in South Africa and Turkey. This year, we want to extend the offer to additional countries around the globe,” tells Pascal Schattner.