March 3, 2014 report
Daimler job ads suggest Mercedes cars soon to have Android/iOS phones integrated into dash
(Phys.org) —Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has posted job ads looking for software engineers to help implement a system for allowing integration between dashboard technology and user smartphones (Android or iOS), suggesting the company plans to allow users to plug in their smartphones and use them as part of the car's controls when driving.
The ads are worded almost identically, save for the mention of "Android" and "iOS" (and references to them), and are requesting the services of software engineers to assist in the development of either "Google Projected Mode" or Apple's "iOS in the Car." Both apparently refer to in-dash systems that allow for running applications with which mobile device users are already familiar: mapping, playing media, messaging, etc. The ads also note the car company is looking to make the integration with the car a seamless experience for the user.
Though it appears clear that Daimler plans to integrate Android/iOS phones into its cars, it's still not clear how exactly that might work. Will they be cable bound or wireless, for example? It's also unclear whether the automaker plans to integrate the phones with other onboard vehicle computer systems, adding whole new types of functions, displays or features.
Also, if smartphones are integrated into automobiles such as those made by Mercedes, the presumption is that secondary displays would be larger than those on smartphones, or even tablet computers. With the Android implementation, questions surrounding the name have arisen—what exactly does "projected mode" mean?
Daimler also makes clear that the company is also looking for an application that allows for functionality to be handled "safely" via the vehicle's control system—this implies a voice activated control system and likely buttons on the steering wheel. This would make sense as Google has just announced plans for adding voice APIs to its Chrome web browser with plans to add it to its OS.
By suggesting that the technology is coming to "all Mercedes-Benz vehicles in all markets worldwide," the ads seem to make clear that Daimler isn't just considering the integration of smartphones into its cars, but has clear plans to do so.
By placing ads for both Android and iOS engineers, it seems clear that the ultimate in-dash solution will allow car buyers to use either phone in the same vehicle, allowing for complete freedom for the consumer.
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