MB.OS: How Mercedes’ new software push gives it a direct line to customers | CAR Magazine

MB.OS: How Mercedes’ new software push gives it a direct line to customers

Published: 06 September 2023 Updated: 06 September 2023

► MB.OS feature in future EVs
► All developed in-house
► Part of Mercedes’ push to develop a class-leading UX

Just revealed at the Munich motor show, the new Concept CLA Class previews not one but two key pieces of tech that will define Mercedes’ electric offerings in the near future. Firstly, the CLA concept uses the MMA platform – but it also debuts MB.OS, an all-new software solution that Mercedes hopes will put its cars well ahead of the competition. 

Concept CLA Class interior

Visually represented by a pulsing blue cube in the new Concept, MB.OS is a tailor-made operating system designed to control all things software in forthcoming Mercedes cars. Built in-house by Mercedes for Mercedes, it’s another example of the way in which carmakers are increasingly taking back spaces they’d traditionally work with third-parties on.

For Mercedes it’s all about the infotainment system, but just a day before, BMW revealed its Heart of Joy,’ an in-house developed single software and hardware stack that replaces multiple third-party ECUs. Why? Because that way BMW has total control of its car and hardware and everything is quicker and more joined up too. Rewind back to Mercedes, however, and for CTO Markus Schafer the benefits are clear: 

Mercedes-Benz OS

‘If you don’t own the operating system in your hand, if you’re not the architect,’ he explains ‘you’re not in a position to design the experience for your customers’.

Simply put, having complete control of the car’s OS – without ‘islands’ of third-party software – will give Mercedes more control over the full UX in its future cars: ‘If you want to combine different domains of the car such as driver assistance, autonomous and infotainment together to create a new digital product and experience for the customer, you need to be in charge,’ Schafer continues. ‘That’s why being on top of the operating system is so important for us.’


But the benefits include more than just additional features; by removing third-parties, MB.OS gives Mercedes a direct line to its customers, continuing a relationship well beyond the day of purchase.

‘For the first time we are in touch with the customer,’ Schafer reiterates. ‘We can send direct offers to the customer, get customer feedback from every car – so it works in both directions. That’s a new opportunity for us and for the customers to make better products. And, you know we have another business opportunity as well with interesting products.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes