As part of its new “In Car Office” project, Mercedes-Benz will be notably increasing the number of “smart productivity” features in its vehicles starting in 2017, according to recent reports.
The new smart productivity features — announced in Berlin recently, at IFW 2016 — will include Microsoft Exchange support. What this means is that users will be able to allow stored information on their to-do lists, work calendars, and contact lists to predict/recommend driving destinations, calls to be made, etc.
TechCrunch provides more, musing that, “the In Car Office feature obviously isn’t intended to turn your vehicle into a mobile workstation so much as it’s designed to help you more easily accomplish work-related tasks you’d probably field on-the-go anyway. Mercedes’ In Car Office features will do things like pre-populate the navigation system with destination from your Exchange calendar, and also provide notifications offering to make calls using the in-car voice call system when you have upcoming meetings marked on your calendar. It definitely sounds like something that could lessen distraction and minimize manual input required for tasks that people already (unsafely) try to tackle during longer commutes or road trips during business hours.”
Certainly not the most important product improvement that Mercedes could be making, but still one that will likely please some customers. Others, though, may be wondering why the company has yet to offer a truly substantial electric vehicle model option, and if its autonomous driving tech will take too much longer to make it to the market in a meaningful way, and to compete with software-strong companies like Tesla, Google, and Apple.