Mercedes-Benz AG and Google have struck a long-term partnership designed to give the German automaker control over its IP and marketplace while offering drivers navigation, maps and YouTube provided by the tech giant.
It’s an unusual deal that attempts to strike a Goldilocks-type balance between offering the Google services consumers want without ceding control over the entire operating system in the car.
“This is a licensing agreement that is a ‘win-win’ for both parties,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius said during a press briefing in Sunnyvale, California.
Calling it a licensing agreement is accurate, but perhaps downplays the relationship. The partnership will bring the Google Maps platform, Cloud and YouTube into future Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with the automaker’s next-generation operating system called MB.OS.
Mercedes wants its MB.OS to be so compelling, drivers no longer opt to use middleware products like Apple CarPlay.
“I mean, that’s the ultimate goal of MB.OS ultimately, it will create a customer experience so there’s no need to plug in your phone,” CTO Markus Schäfer said.