Product intelligence and IT basis: Always online: with new connectivity solutions, the Sprinter becomes part of the Internet of Things

Feb 6, 2018
  • The IT infrastructure for the recording of data and the use of mobility services is deeply integrated into the vehicle
  • New infotainment systems and the communication module create the technical conditions ex factory

Digitisation and urbanisation are continuously and profoundly changing the requirements for commercial vehicle fleets. To be successful in the competition for efficient transport solutions, the fundamental precondition of vehicle quality with traditional attributes such as reliability, economy and versatility must be met. The new Sprinter can do far more, however: with a sophisticated IT infrastructure, internet connectivity and the blending of different technologies into an overall system solution, the bestselling large van has achieved an innovative leap for a very wide range of applications. Greater flexibility and integration of the vehicle into the IT infrastructure of companies generate added value along the entire value chain. The Sprinter has become part of the Internet of Things, and is the first model from Mercedes-Benz Vans to meet these requirements ex factory.

Superior to existing stand-alone solutions in all respects

Complex mobility solutions also make different demands on the onboard IT infrastructure than stand-alone solutions. For a more comprehensive approach and a high level of operating safety, Mercedes-Benz Vans has taken a new direction and intensively networked the vehicle. The data obtained make new services with direct added value possible in the first place. They are also clearly superior to stand-alone solutions where reliability and operating safety are concerned.

Infotainment, navigation and communication in one unit

The new MBUX multimedia system with a 7 or 10.25-inch touchscreen display is used for the first time in the new Sprinter. An LTE-capable module creates the necessary internet connection. As an alternative, and without a connection to the infotainment system, a communication module can be ordered for the Sprinter which creates an internet connection. The permanently installed SIM card of the LTE-capable communication module gives the vehicle a reliable and fast internet connection as a technical prerequisite for the use of Mercedes PRO connect services. When the vehicle is not on the move, the input and output of data by the driver is via a smartphone.

Both options leave scarcely any wishes unfulfilled when it comes to onboard infotainment and communication. Control via the high-resolution HD screen or touch control buttons on the multifunction steering wheel is particularly innovative. Other highlights include smartphone connection via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and a Bluetooth interface with hands-free function for minimum distraction when telephoning on the move. The MBUX multimedia system with a 7 or 10.25-inch touchscreen also features fast hard-disc navigation with high-quality topographical 3D map representation. For the first three years the Mercedes PRO service "Live Traffic" is also available free of charge with the navigation system: this service follows the traffic situation practically in real time, and automatically adapts the route planning.

Use of the address system "what3words" is also new. Mercedes-Benz is the first automobile manufacturer to use this coordinate system, which assigns three words to any point on the earth's surface. This makes navigation even simpler and more precise.