I put the car in park, unplug the phone, and put Google Glass on my face. Within seconds, I’ve got step-by-step directions to a coffee shop down the street beamed directly to my eyeballs. This is what Mercedes-Benz has planned for the future, and not only do they have a functioning prototype, they’re working with Google to make it a reality. It’s called “Door-to-Door Navigation,” and it’s just the latest in a string of high-tech pushes the automaker has made in the past few years. It started with Mercedes doubling its resources and employees at its Silicon Valley research center, which allowed the automaker to work on a thoroughly revised infotainment platform and develop one of the first comprehensive integrations of Apple’s iPhone into its entry level and youth-focused CLA. Now, it’s Google’s turn.
“We definitely see wearable devices as another trend in the industry that is important to us,” says Johann Jungwirth, Mercedes’ North American R&D President & CEO. “We have been working with Glass for roughly six months and meeting with the Google Glass team regularly.” And it’s helpful that Google HQ is just a 10-minute drive from the automaker’s Palo Alto research facility.
Will this be another boost for Google Glass and with that making it another great opportunity that Glass will become a great success? If so it could mean that Google will be expanding their investment in $HIMX as they are becoming more dependent on them for the production of Glass.
“This is, perhaps, not how we will accomplish it when we launch it as a product,” Jungwirth told WIRED. “As we are in talks with Google about making a direct connection to Glass work, but it is how our prototype works today.”
We already know that Mercedes signed a big contract with $REFR
The all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is once again the benchmark in the premium luxury segment, offering the MAGIC SKY CONTROL panoramic glass roof as an option to customers during the second half of 2014. The MAGIC SKY CONTROL feature uses patented SPD-SmartGlass technology developed by Research Frontiers Inc. (REFR) to turn the roof transparent by electrically aligning tiny particles within its glass. With the touch of a button, drivers and passengers can instantly change the tint of their roof to help keep out harsh sunlight and heat, and create an open-air feeling even when the sunroof is closed. Glass or plastic using Research Frontiers’ patented SPD-SmartGlass technology effectively blocks UV and infrared rays in either mode, helping keep the cabin cooler, and protecting passengers and interiors.
Will the first quote mean that Mercedes is looking for more interesting developments for their cars than only the Magic Sky Control? I think so, they want to be ahead of the crowd and stay innovative with the new upcoming technology.
Google will be more than happy to get in the game and coörporate with Mercedes. Especially regarding their future plans for a self-driving car. If they can work together with Mercedes with Google Glass, they have a foot in the door for building more products together.