Mercedes-Benz to Make its Sindelfingen Tech Center its Global ‘Electric Software Hub', Plans to Hire 3,000 Developers
【Summary】Luxury automaker Mercedes Benz plans to make its Sindelfingen Tech Center the home of its future vehicle operating system (OS) development. The moves are part of the automaker’s new “digital first” strategy that will give Mercedes Benz vehicles the same over-the-air updates and connectivity features that Tesla offers in it electric vehicles.
Luxury automaker Mercedes Benz plans to make its Sindelfingen Tech Center the home of its future vehicle operating system (OS) development. The automaker's future electric vehicle OS is called "MB.OS" and it will support electrification and power management, autonomous driving, cloud computing and the company's new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz Operating System) AI-powered vehicle infotainment system.
The moves are part of the automaker's new "digital first" strategy. It will give Mercedes Benz vehicles the same over-the-air updates and connectivity features that Tesla offers.
Mercedes‑Benz AG plans to hire around 1,000 software developers in Sindelfingen. The company is also hiring 2,000 additional engineers for global R&D locations in Berlin, Tel Aviv, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Tokyo and Bangalore.
The future "Mercedes-Benz Electric Software Hub" will offer a state-of-the-art work environment in an area of approx. 65,000 m² (approx. eight football fields). It's scheduled to go into operation in early 2022.
The Mercedes-Benz site in Sindelfingen is one of the most traditional vehicle plants of parent company Daimler AG. It's responsible for the manufacturing of luxury class Mercedes Benz vehicles. It is also considered to be the world's leading centers for security, innovation and design, according to the company.
The plan strengthens Sindelfingen's role as a central development and qualification hub for experts in the field of software development at the existing Mercedes-Benz Technology Center.
Current employees at the site will be offered training opportunities for new high-tech roles at the automaker, helping advance the transformation of Mercedes Benz into a software-driven company.
"With the successful conclusion of the negotiations between the management and the works council at the Sindelfingen site, we are accelerating the transformation. In order to develop our future operating system MB.OS in-house, we rely on a team of highly qualified employees, which we are now strengthening by up to 3,000 new positions of software experts around the world," said Sajjad Khan, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG.
"Software changes the world, forms the central nervous system of our modern vehicles and is the decisive success factor for digital innovations. It enables a safe, comfortable, but also luxurious customer experience."
Over the long term, Mercedes Benz plans to generate more than 60% added value from in-vehicle software, the cloud and in IoT applications, all developed in-house by the automaker.
To attract and retain new talent, Mercedes Benz said its offering an attractive package for software developers by addressing the requirements employees expect in a modern working environment.
Mercedes Benz said the new software jobs will offer a high degree of independence, performance-oriented salaries and individual freedom. Mercedes Benz has already started preparing new employees for the MB.OS environment with on‑board technical training to familiarize them with the OS as part of its corporate "Tech Academy."
Last June, Mercedes-Benz announced a new partnership with NVIDIA Corp to develop its new software based MB.OS. It will give future Mercedes Benz owners the ability to add new software to their vehicles, keeping them always up to date with new features.
The new software-based vehicle architecture will be introduced beginning with 2024 model year Mercedes-Benz vehicles, eventually rolling out to the entire fleet globally.
Mercedes Benz and NVIDIA plan to develop the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in the auto industry. Drivers of these future Mercedes Benz software-based cars will be able to add convenience apps to their vehicles the same way Apple iPhone and Android smartphone owners add new apps to their devices.
Vehicles capable of receiving over-the-air software updates will also generate additional revenue streams for Mercedes Benz. Customers will be able to purchase new features and services and always keep their vehicles up to date, including downloading software that unlocks higher levels of automated driving capabilities, like Tesla does with its Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature that costs an additional $10,000.
The company plans to generate around € 1 billion in revenue from digital services by 2025.
The new software-defined architecture will be built on NVIDIA's DRIVE AGX Orin platform, which will come standard in the next-generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Eventually, every future model globally will come with the advanced and upgradable software-based architecture, from the entry-level A-Class to S-Class models, the company said last year.
NVIDIA's powerful DRIVE AGX Orin platform includes all of the necessary processing power for sensor fusion for automated driving. NVIDIA's Orin is a result of four years of R&D investment by NVIDIA. The new platform is powered by a new system-on-a-chip (SoC), which consists of 17 billion transistors.
As vehicles become "computers on wheels", Mercedes Benz plans to jumpstart the development of vehicle software technologies, which are poised to transform the auto industry. The new Mercedes-Benz Electric Software Hub will help the automaker better prepare for the future.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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