When Mercedes-Benz decides to give a keynote presentation at CES, the world's premier electronics show, it's time to take notice. Mercedes-Benz has been incredibly forward-thinking with its cars' technology features, putting it in a leadership position. When Dr. Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of parent company Daimler, takes the stage at the Cosmopolitan's Chelsea theater on Monday night, I'd bet he'll show us something that will shape the future of the automobile.
Mercedes-Benz innovation goes back to the company's founding, as it claims the first ever automobile. Fast forward to the present day, and the Germany company has made major progress in autonomous technologies, putting features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance on the road.
At the same time, the company has been pushing new drivetrain technologies in the form of electric and hybrid cars, while also making clean-burning diesel engines available in its fleet of cars. And while not as successful as some competitors, Mercedes-Benz has made great progress integrating data-driven apps into its dashboards.
So what can we expect from Monday night's keynote? So far, Mercedes-Benz only says that it will show off a new concept car. Past concept cars from Mercedes-Benz have run the gamut from research vehicles testing out the most cutting-edge technologies to new AMG-tuned versions of existing production cars. Given the nature of CES, I am expecting the latter.
In 2013, Mercedes-Benz gave us the, a beautifully designed large luxury car with advanced driver assistance features, an LCD instrument cluster, and a dashboard interface that let you choose music by mood. Going back to 2011, Mercedes-Benz came out with the , which the company said was its vision for how a car would look at and work in 15 years. The F125 was a fuel-cell electric car with a range of 600 miles and driver assistance features that could make it drive nearly autonomously. Those are just two example of this company's high-tech potential.
When CNET editor Tim Stevens had a look at, he found the company's engineers looking at such things as Google Glass, Pebble smartwatches and even Nest thermostats to figure out if they could enhance the driving experience.
It's no exaggeration to say that Mercedes-Benz has huge influence as to the car of tomorrow, and we just might get a glimpse of that on Monday night at 8 p.m. Pacific (click this link to find out your local time). Please join us for our live blog.