Cars as a Service? Mercedes-Benz latest to use cloud to flog vehicles

By Brandon Butler, Network World |  Cloud Computing, car tech

As a car manufacturer how do you express that your vehicles have the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology? Use the buzzwords.

That's what Mercedes-Benz seems to be doing in its latest round of advertising (see video here) for mbrace2, an in-car computer system. It comes with apps allowing drivers to check news, sports, weather and traffic, and update their social media status, while having the ability to download new apps as Mercedes custom builds them, all from "the cloud."

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Other car manufacturers have used cloud terminology in their publicity materials, but Mercedes seems to be one of the first to use cloud terminology in its consumer-focused television advertising.

In April 2011, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corp., held a joint press conference to announce a $12 million investment by the car company's media division to use Microsoft's Azure cloud to deliver telematics to its vehicles -- meaning a combination of telecommunication and information technology services, it says. Ford has discussed cloud-connected vehicles too, as seen in this Ford Evos concept car video. Audi, BMW, Honda and GM each have their own versions of integrated technology in their vehicles.

It's part of a larger trend by manufacturers to allow owners to stay connected when they get in their car, says Mark Boyadjis, an automotive analyst at IHS iSuppli. By using the cloud terminology in its ads, Mercedes is attempting to portray it's systems as the most high tech, fitting in with the company's motto: "The best or nothing." But does the average person really care about the cloud in their car?

"Joe Consumer has no idea it is cloud connected or cloud enabled," Boyadjis says. "They might see the buzz term and think it's high tech, but they really just want their Pandora to work."


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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