The car manufacturer relies on a strong partner for navigation systems. The company’s own car software should come onto the market in the middle of the decade – and bring the group high sales.

The car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has agreed to cooperate with the Internet giant Google for the further development of its navigation system. With the strategic partnership, data and functions from Google Maps are to flow into its own navigation system in the future, the group announced on Wednesday in Sunnyvale (California). The functions are to be embedded in the company’s own operating system (MB.OS).

The planned car software is to be introduced in the middle of the decade with the new MMA vehicle platform. MB.OS is developed by the company itself in order to retain full control over customer relationships and to ensure data protection, it said. It has access to all areas of the vehicle: infotainment (entertainment and information), vehicle and comfort functions, driving and charging, and automated driving. The connection is made via the cloud. The operating system decouples hardware from software, enabling faster innovation cycles and increasing the flexibility and speed of updates.

Mercedes wants to be the “architect of its own operating system”.

The company decided to be the architect of its own operating system, said CEO Ola Källenius. According to Källenius, the internal expertise and a selection of partners offer a customer experience. For example, the app for the video platform YouTube should be available in cars in the future. Applications from the video conferencing services Webex and Zoom are to be integrated, as is the game provider Antstream. In addition, the important Chinese market is to be served with content from the online giant Tencent. When it comes to automated driving, Mercedes has been working with the US specialist Nvidia for some time.

By the end of the decade, software sales are expected to reach a high single-digit billion euro figure. Already last year, the software-based sales were over one billion euros. In 2025, one billion euros in profit before interest and taxes should be generated with the digital services. According to information from the German Press Agency, Mercedes invests one to two billion euros in development every year. By the middle of the decade, spending on software should account for 25 percent of the budget for research and development.