Mercedes Benz is offering a preview of its next-generation vehicle interface system with the unveiling of the new myCOMAND vehicle infotainment system in the ConceptFASCINATION concept vehicle at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The myCOMAND system features new functionalities including internet connectivity and automatic software updates, with everything controlled via a single interface.

Every time the engine starts myCOMAND automatically updates itself via radio and thus continuously brings the software up to date. The system offers the driver individually appropriate internet services depending on the situation.

One of the most important new services of myCOMAND is ‘off-board’ navigation. This new system not only shows real-time mapping data, it also takes the traffic information available on the internet into account for route selection. Along with the conventional map display it is also possible to show satellite images which enable easier orientation.

Another feature is ‘Trip Assist’. This service automatically accesses the large amount of information available on the internet and can provide details for weather, hotels, leisure facilities, and restaurant and theatre bookings.

Also new is ‘World Radio’, which allows you to tune into any radio station from around the world that is broadcasting on the internet. Additionally, it allows users to store their personal music library on the internet, which is then available anytime worldwide in the car.

Finally, there is an internet telephone function, which allows users to make calls via the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

All the information is shown via a centrally arranged display and the traditional Mercedes COMAND controller located on the center console. By means of two buttons next to the central control, additional functions such as the menu options can be called up. Mercedes eventually plans to connect the new myCOMAND internet feature with its current Linguatronic voice activation control system.

Researchers, meanwhile, expect that it will take a few more years until the technical prerequisites have been created and such a system is available in production cars.