Innovative parking solutions. Finding a parking space in a city can be extremely difficult. Locating the space itself is one challenge; getting a car in and out of a tight space undamaged is another. Mercedes-Benz offers car drivers support for both challenges with state-of-the-art assistance systems, the intelligent networking of vehicles and infrastructure, and smart services for parking. Along with the drivers themselves, this also benefits the environment and cities by reducing the number of cars looking for parking spaces and ensuring more efficient use of available spaces and facilities.

Our innovative solutions for parking ease the burden on drivers in every phase of the parking process — from the search for a space to actual parking and locating the vehicle when it’s time to leave again.

  • On-Street Prediction, Real-Time Information, Off-Street Information— these three new Mercedes me connect services make it easier for drivers to find a parking space. The optional services can be used via the Mercedes me app in S-Class and E-Class models, the CLS and, since June 2018, in the C-Class and the new A-Class as well.
  • PARKTRONIC: This active parking assistant system makes it easier to find a parking space and then park in it and pull out of it again. The system automatically steers the vehicle into a parking space. If an obstacle is detected, it can brake and, if necessary, automatically change the direction the vehicle is moving in, while also activating the turn signal lamp.
  • Automated Valet Parking is a feature for driverless parking that is currently being tested in a pilot project at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. With this system, drivers leave their vehicle in a “drop-off area” when they arrive at the garage. After that, one click in the associated smartphone app is all it takes to get the car to drive autonomously into the garage and park in a free space. The system works exactly the same way the other way around: Drivers order the vehicle via the app, after which the car starts and drives autonomously to a “pick-up area.”
  • The Mercedes-Benz Parking Card enables easy access to, and cashless payments for, parking spaces in selected parking garages in Germany. The card, which is available via the Mercedes me portal, is automatically scanned when a vehicle approaches a parking garage, thereby eliminating the need to maneuver up to a garage gate or wait in line at payment machines when exiting.
  • The Mercedes me Car Sharing app allows drivers of A-Class vehicles to share their car with a specified group of users, so that it can be used during the time it would normally be parked. The app, which went into operation in September 2018, thus enables friends, family members or colleagues to easily book and borrow the A-Class for a specific period.
  • The CHARK.me app is currently being tested in a pilot project with Daimler employees in Stuttgart. The app transforms parked cars into a “hub” to which service providers can deliver packages, food or laundry ordered by the driver. The system requires a Mercedes-Benz vehicle with Mercedes me connect capability. Plans call for the project to be expanded to include external customers in 2019.
  • The smart “ready to spot” service helps drivers find their parked vehicles and also offers other features that make it easier for drivers to find their way back to their cars.

moovel presents the digital mobility marketplace. The moovel Group presented its digital marketplace at the leading international trade fair for transport technology, InnoTrans, in September 2018 and then again at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona in November 2018. The marketplace solution benefits customers, transport companies, and mobility service providers. Among other things, it enables the flexible modeling of payment flows, thus meeting the varied requirements of Mobility-as-a-Service use cases, particularly those that involve multimodal transport. Transport companies can use the digital marketplace to combine their transport services with other mobility services and integrate these into new pricing models — without having to deal with the regulatory expense of purchasing a payment license or obtaining an exemption from one. Well over six million people worldwide now use products offered by the moovel Group.

World premiere of the Vision URBANETIC. In 2018, we presented a forward-looking mobility concept in the form of the Vision URBANETIC study. Our goal with this concept vehicle is to be able to transport more people and goods with fewer vehicles on an almost unchanged road infrastructure in order to ease the traffic burden in inner cities, while at the same time meeting the increasing requirements associated with mobility. The solution we’ve come up with is a vehicle that can transport both people and goods. Depending on the body structure used, the Vision URBANETIC can serve as a ride-sharing vehicle for up to 12 passengers or as a cargo transport van that can hold as many as ten Euro pallets. The concept is based on an autonomous electrically powered chassis integrated into a complex IT infrastructure — the vehicle control center — that analyzes supply and demand within a defined area in real time. This IT system can also take into account local information about nearby events, for example. The vehicle control center uses the data it collects to identify a group of people in a specific area, for example, after which it automatically orders vehicles to meet the increased ride-sharing demand quickly and efficiently.

Vision URBANETIC can do even more, however, since its full networking capability and intelligent control system enable it to not only analyze information but also learn from it. As a result, the system can anticipate and respond to future needs and thus optimize its processes accordingly in order to shorten waiting and delivery times and avoid congestion. The result is an autonomous fleet of vehicles whose routes can be flexibly and efficiently planned by a vehicle control center. The idea here is that the concept vehicle should ease the traffic burden in inner cities over the long term and help improve quality of life for city dwellers.

Vision URBANETIC expands the adVANce future initiative. The Vision URBANETIC concept vehicle expands our adVANce strategic future initiative by adding the AUTONOMOUS@VANS innovation field. adVANce focuses on innovation fields that hold the key to the future success of the transport and logistics sectors. The eDRIVE@VANS innovation field addresses the electrification of the van portfolio. “Connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) applications” focuses on the optimal integration of diverse digital technologies into Mercedes-Benz Vans products (DIGITAL@VANS). “Innovative hardware solutions” (SOLUTIONS@VANS) pursues the goal of achieving the continuous improvement of load-space logistics and being able to effectively adapt to changing requirements in the transport industry. Mercedes-Benz Van Rental marks the first time a Group brand has focused exclusively on van rentals (RENTAL@VANS). An initial example of the development of innovative sharing services is offered by our joint venture with the US startup Via (SHARING@VANS).
The new eVito
Electrification of local public transport — new eCitaro with an improved range
Joint venture with Via
The eDRIVE@VANS electric strategy

Bus Rapid Transit. The bus transport system known as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) enables fast, convenient and cost-effective mobility in cities. BRT systems use dedicated bus lanes that enable congestion-free operation and short intervals between buses. Exhaust gas and noise emissions can be reduced. The separation from normal road traffic enabled by the dedicated lanes also makes service more reliable and allows the buses to travel at higher speeds. If a BRT system is to work effectively, the buses must be given priority at traffic lights. Modern barrier-free bus stops, pre-ticketing systems, and connections to other public transport services and Park&Ride and Bike&Ride locations are also important.

Daimler Buses introduced a BRT system in the Australian city of Adelaide around 30 years ago, which made it one of the pioneers of urban mobility solutions. Approximately 185 BRT systems are currently operating on all continents, and we continue to support efforts to expand BRT systems around the world. For example, we supply suitable articulated buses, and our international team of experts also provides advice to transport companies on the introduction and further development of BRT systems.

New minibuses for cities. Daimler presented a new generation of Mercedes-Benz minibuses at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles show. The flagship of the Sprinter City minibus series is the Sprinter City 75, a minibus 8.5 meters long that can transport up to 38 passengers. The vehicle’s body conceals innovative technology, including an extra-long wheelbase that enables the installation of a spacious low-floor platform between the axles. This platform can be used flexibly to accommodate folding seats, wheelchair and stroller bays, seating with a quick-change system or standing areas. Another unique feature is a heavy-load rear axle that was developed and manufactured exclusively for Mercedes-Benz minibuses. The vehicle’s load capacity of 5.0 tons forms the basis for its GVW of 6.8 tons.

Digital services for networked fleet management. Future mobility solutions will be based primarily on the networking of vehicles, and this will especially be the case with regard to commercial vehicle fleets. With the requirements of fleet managers in mind, Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH expanded its “connect business” service in 2018 to include a new Driver Messaging feature and an interface for integrating the service into existing systems. All data relevant to a vehicle fleet is bundled on the “connect business” platform, which also allows centralized control of the fleet. With “connect business,” relevant fleet data can be called up at any time, which makes it possible for fleet managers to plan for unexpected events and reduce downtime. In this manner, “connect business” supports proactive fleet management and helps to optimize existing processes and increase the fleet’s efficiency.

Since the launch of “connect business” in 2017, the number of vehicles networked via its platform has risen to approximately 30,000. The platform’s connectivity services have also been available in France, Belgium and the Netherlands since 2018. Whereas the service’s features were originally only provided for passenger car fleets with Mercedes-Benz vehicles, they can now be used for vehicles from all manufacturers via a hardware retrofitting solution.