Your next Mercedes-Benz could be powered by Garmin -- at least, the navigation system will be. The GPS navigation provider announced today that it has been selected by Daimler AG to provide navigation for future a Mercedes-Benz infotainment system.
Garmin's announcement states that its navigation system will be "seamlessly integrated" into Mercedes-Benz' infotainment system, so there is the possibility that Garmin's work will blend and disappear into the Benz COMAND interface rather than appearing as a separate Garmin software as in Chrysler's UConnect system.
We've criticized the Chrysler Group's Garmin integration in the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 300 for not being integrated well enough. Its two menu systems, for example, were needlessly confusing and at times redundant. Hopefully this new Mercedes-Benz/Garmin partnership will yield a much more cohesive result.
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The Mercedes-Benz/Garmin system will use the COMAND rotary controller in keeping with German automakers' aversion to touch-screen interfaces. Voice control will also be an option for inputting destinations and interacting with the system. Garmin states that the system's navigation and positioning data will be accessible by other vehicle systems. For example, navigation information, such as next turn, will be accessible on the instrument cluster display that many Mercedes-Benz vehicles feature, and position data will used for Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) functionalities of the vehicle.
Expect to see the fruits of this union of Garmin and Mercedes-Benz to start appearing in new vehicles over the next four years. Thank long automotive development cycles for that timeline.