Mercedes’ approach to building a vehicle operating system from the ground up is about flexibility, said Michael Hafner, a Mercedes vice president helping lead development of MB.OS.

“We need to own the complete chain,” Hafner told Automotive News. “We are gaining speed in deploying new functionalities and we are gaining content.”

The new operating system, Mercedes said, is built on in-house-developed hardware and software that will access services and content from tech providers.

For instance, Mercedes said it would build a branded navigation system based on in-car data and navigation capabilities from the Google Maps Platform.

The MB.OS navigation system will combine Google’s real-time and predictive traffic information and automatic rerouting technology with vehicle data such as state of charge and energy consumption to deliver more precise range management for electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Mercedes is partnering with NVIDIA and Luminar to develop a Level 3 automated assisted driving system, currently approved for use in Nevada.

The Drive Pilot system allows the car to take control of driving functions under certain conditions, freeing the driver to do other things, such as answering emails.

Kallenius described the partnership approach using a home-building metaphor.

“If you’re an architect, you don’t have to lay every tile yourself or put up every single beam,” he said. “That is why we have carefully selected a set of partners.”

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