Mercedes-Benz Group AG has agreed to a partnership with ZYNC. The California‑based tech company will provide the world-first implementation of its premium in-car digital entertainment platform for Mercedes-Benz. By aggregating a wide range of owned and 3rd-party digital content onto a single turnkey platform, ZYNC will provide the platform as well as the interface between content partners and existing compatible Mercedes-Benz hardware. The aim of the partnership is to provide customers with a seamless digital entertainment experience tailored to the unique environment inside a Mercedes-Benz, while maximising the benefits of the company’s UI/UX technologies such as the MBUX Hyperscreen. Through ZYNC, Mercedes-Benz customers will be able to access to a wide range of renowned third-party global and local streaming services. The first application of ZYNC is planned for the end of this year in the EQS and S-Class in Europe, with rollout in further models and markets planned for 2023.
Be it news, sports, shows or films, the majority of people consume their favourite streamed content most of the time via their mobile device or television. However, the environment inside a Mercedes-Benz presents a specific array of conditions that offer the chance to provide an immersive cinematic experience of audio‑visual content that goes far beyond merely facilitating playback. Those conditions range from the size, format and position of screens and the bespoke arrangement of speakers to the type of content and the way it is navigated. By focusing exclusively on the circumstances inside the car, the ZYNC platform integrates seamlessly with Mercedes-Benz hardware as well as current and future operating systems to deliver content in a way that maximises the audio-visual sensation, engagement and ease-of-use.
ZYNC provides video streaming, on-demand content, interactive experiences, local video programming, sports, news, gaming and much more through a unified user interface. Over 30 streaming services are available from high-end global, regional and local partners, with additional partners and channels continuously integrated over the air. Most of these channels are included and do not need an individual subscription. The prerequisite for ZYNC is an active Mercedes-Benz me account with the MBUX Entertainment Package, which is currently free of charge for one year from booking and can then be extended for a fee in the Mercedes me portal (country-specific deviations possible).
“We want to offer our customers a unique entertainment experience in their vehicles. Technologically, this is only achievable through the interaction of the best hardware and software. Whether our ENERGIZING Comfort programs, the innovative MBUX Hyperscreen or Dolby Atmos – a Mercedes-Benz is unmistakable and can be experienced with multiple senses. Access to diverse video streaming offerings through ZYNC will soon take our holistic luxury promise to the next level. This underlines our claim to ‘Lead in Car Software’,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Development and Purchasing.
“Through our partnership with ZYNC, Mercedes-Benz aims to unleash the full potential of in-car ntertainment via benchmark-setting hardware like the MBUX Hyperscreen by transforming it into a portal that expands the MBUX digital experience beyond the car. As well as even smoother, more direct and personalised access to owned and third-party content such as ZYNC provides, augmentation with interactive services will help us further deepen customer engagement and dialogue,” adds Magnus Östberg, Chief Software Officer, Mercedes-Benz AG.
Dedicated solution maximises benefits of advanced Mercedes-Benz hardware
The partnership with ZYNC leverages and maximises the inherent benefits of the advanced UI/UX of Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems, such as the MBUX Hyperscreen. The aggregation of content means 3rd‑party partners integrate once into the ZYNC platform. The highly scalable cloud-native platform is optimised for low latency on Mercedes-Benz vehicle hardware.
In real terms, this means customers will be able to access a constantly growing array of streaming services. The page layouts are optimised to make the best possible use of the visual quality and resolution provided by the specific infotainment systems and its screens. In line with the Mercedes-Benz’s software strategy, the ZYNC platform offers best-in-class in-vehicle video playback, including adaptive bitrates and minimal on-board caching requirements. Meanwhile, the ZYNC platform itself is compatible with multiple Digital Rights Management (DRM) formats.
Focus on safety with a view to the future of in-car entertainment
At the core of all Mercedes-Benz developments in in-car entertainment and visual content is road safety. The partnership with ZYNC is no exception. When the vehicle is in motion, streaming services are restricted, e.g. to passenger screens or audio only in accordance with local market regulations. Looking to the future, Mercedes-Benz is prepared for the use of video streaming while the car is in motion where approval exists for Level 3 conditionally automated driving.