Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off what it calls MB.OS nearly two years ago. Since then, the infotainment hasn’t made it into any production cars, as they’re all still running versions of MBUX. Today at CES 2024, Mercedes says that the first vehicles that will host MB.OS will be its family of MMA platform vehicles, which will include its entry-level models like the CLA, GLA and others.
Specifically, Mercedes-Benz chose the Concept CLA Class to reveal the latest news as it pertains to MB.OS. One of the big elements with this new infotainment system will be the AI-driven virtual assistant. Confusingly, it’s called the “MBUX Virtual Assistant,” but Mercedes makes it clear that said assistant is “running on MB.OS.” Mercedes says its assistant lives by the principles of “natural, predictive, personal and empathetic.” You can tailor it however you like via the settings, but it’s designed to learn your routines, offer proactive suggestions and speak to you in a more emotional voice than typical car assistants do. It uses 3D graphics run by the Unity game engine to present itself as a “living star avatar” to communicate with the driver or passengers in the vehicle.
Navigation in MB.OS will be even more immersive than it is now, as Mercedes says it will use those same 3D graphics as the avatar to provide an overlay of “what the car sees” in the digital instrument cluster. You’ll see digital representations of people, other cars or cyclists in the animation, all with the route guidance layered over top of it.
Third-party apps will continue to play a greater role in Mercedes’ infotainment systems, and even though MB.OS is the new kid on the block, MBUX is expected to be updated with apps like Microsoft Teams (for video meetings), Booking.com, getAbstract, JustEat Takeaway “and more.” Gaming will be enhanced via the retro gaming service Anstream Arcade. Plus, video streaming from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s RIDEVU – a service that allows you to rent or buy movies – will also make its way to Mercedes screens.