Mercedes chairman to deliver CES keynote address

Mercedes has hopped on the CES-as-auto-show bandwagon, and will deliver a keynote address at the 2012 International CES in January.

The interior of the Mercedes A Class concept car.
The interior of the Mercedes A Class concept car. Mercedes

Not to be outdone by Ford and Audi, Mercedes-Benz has hopped on the CES-as-auto-show bandwagon, and will deliver a keynote address at the 2012 International CES in January.

The speech, given by Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, will outline Mercedes' vision on the intersection of automotive innovation and the digital realm. Factory-installed automotive technology systems revenue exceeded $5.5 billion in 2010, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, and this year will increase to $5.9 billion. Last year, Ford and Audi execs gave keynote addresses at the electronics conference, and the 2012 Ford Focus was named the official car of the 2011 CES.

Mercedes has been a little slower than its luxury competitors, such as BMW and Audi, in integrating smartphone apps and the latest telematics. However, the manufacturer is planning to roll out a suite of app integrations in vehicles this fall, along with Google Streetview and Panoramio integration. Mercedes vehicles in Europe are available with Internet access, but that level of connectivity hasn't made it stateside--yet.

It will take more than an Internet connection in cars to wow CES showgoers. After all, Audi already offers Google Earth navigation and search in several models. Even the Toyota Prius will be pulling information from the cloud next year. Hopefully Mercedes will be showing off some of its more cutting edge technology that it is developing, such as 3D displays, handwriting recognition, and gesture control.

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