What kind of work does MBRDI do?
In line with the global ambitions of the Mercedes-Benz Group, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) plays an important role in innovating and accelerating the future of sustainable mobility. MBRDI engineers are committed to providing extensive digital capabilities based on technology. MBRDI also uses the role of information technology (IT) in accelerating the future of automotive technology in terms of engineering, digitalization, testing and modeling, and data science. The MBRDI office in Bangalore specializes in cross-cutting capabilities in product development and IT services. The satellite office in Pune focuses on interior design and IT engineering.

Could you give us some examples of decisions made in India from MBRDI for the group?
MBRDI plays a significant role in MB development. OS (Mercedes-Benz operating system), which has four key areas: transmission, autonomous control, infotainment system and vehicle control. It provides a unique and unique software platform for all Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Our goal is to be able to update the entire MB. The OS of all cars available from 2024 is remote – a bit like the Android and iOS platforms. To drive such innovation, both locally and globally, MBRDI uses next-generation technologies such as AI, AR and big data analytics.

In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz became the first car manufacturer in the world to receive internationally valid approval for a conditionally automated control system (SAE Level 3). Conditional automated level 3 driving system that reduces the number of accidents caused by human error, such as drowsiness and distraction. Teams from Bangalore have played a role in developing important parts of the software package for Drive Pilot.

Today, every Mercedes car has a part of India, some aspects of the car are affected, modified, developed and supported by India. The “Hey Mercedes” feature in MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), which was demonstrated in the Mercedes-Benz GLC, was also developed by MBRDI engineers. For the latest Mercedes-Benz C Class, the MBRDI team has played a key role in changing the paradigm in digital, including body electronics, transmission, advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), and interactive areas such as infotainment and connected services. India is also an innovation hub for Mercedes-Benz. As Mercedes-Benz plans to switch to fully electric by 2030, MBRDI will play an important role in the development of MB’s electric architecture.

Since Bangalore is an IT hub, is MBRDI working more on the software and technology side of development?
Bangalore plays a significant role in our global network of research and development. We are committed to creating ecosystems and cultures that foster innovation and collaboration to rethink a sustainable future on a global scale. With great ambitions to lead in both electric vehicles and software, MBRDI intends to bring India’s efforts closer to the Mercedes-Benz Group in terms of technology and research and development.

How big is the center and are there any plans to increase the number of engineers?
We have a dedicated team of more than 6,000 employees. We also plan to hire over 1000 engineers with new skills to strengthen our research capabilities in India, especially in the field of MB. The contribution of the OS.

Has the pandemic slowed down new developments at the center?
The pandemic gained some knowledge, and one of the important knowledge was the need to be agile, resilient and able to adapt to the evolving situation. Digitization has allowed employees to collaborate more effectively and increase productivity with flexibility on their side. The biggest advantage of these changes, in my opinion, was the real-time communication and simplification of processes that made operations much smoother and faster.

What new technologies will be introduced in the coming years?
For many years, digitalization has been a central strategic parameter in all areas of Mercedes-Benz. Technological innovations such as crash simulation, gesture control and autonomous control would be unthinkable without digital transformation. With simulations we can understand possible accident models and plan the best ways to avoid them. This does not include testing of basic hardware and is cost effective. It also makes new technology on the road even faster and more efficient than before.

Most of our cars produced today by Mercedes-Benz plants are smart and plugged in by default. With every in-vehicle interface undergoing software development, our cars are nothing more than a data center on wheels.

For example, with the Vision EQXX we clearly have much more digital content in the cockpit. There’s a 47.5-inch post-to-column display, a 3D game engine that gives you more content. We also introduce AI in terms of avatars that predict what you want to have – such as a personal digital butler on board that predicts that you want to go home and pick up things along the way. And of course, if you’re in a traffic jam, you can switch the car to automated mode so you can accomplish something else.

What research and development is taking place at MBRDI in terms of electric mobility?
MBRDI plays a key role in innovating and accelerating the future of sustainable mobility. In line with its global ambitions, the company has in the future shifted its focus from developing a portfolio of electric vehicles to “electric only”.

The company is rapidly gaining momentum in the electrification of cars, as evidenced by our global ambitions. The Vision EQXX (Conceptual EV) is a shining example and proof that we are a leader in the electric with a range of 1000 km that we have now proven.

India also plays a significant role in the development of electrical architecture. On the way to driving without emissions, our developers use a variety of control levers to reduce emissions for a long time. Teams are actively working on the topics of electricity and electronics related to transmission (engine, transmission), chassis, interior, mobility, advanced driver assistance, telematics, application development, etc.

If Daimler trucks create a new technical center, will MBRDI continue to support the truck business?
In line with recent organizational changes, what used to be the Daimler Group’s automotive and freight divisions have been split into separate business divisions. While Daimler Truck will focus on the commercial vehicle segment, Mercedes-Benz will now focus exclusively on the premium and luxury passenger car segment.

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