Around a year ago, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class facelift celebrated its premiere with a new front design, a new mix of paint colours and upholsteries, the dynamic and efficient four-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine, 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and an extended range of assistance systems. The Marco Polo and Marco Polo HORIZON camper vans also benefitted from the innovations. Now the well-loved models from Mercedes-Benz will become even more attractive. As from December, they can be ordered together with the intuitive and self-learning MBUX multimedia system. What’s more, from the end of 2019, newly ordered Marco Polo vehicles will come as standard with Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control (MBAC). This innovative interface module turns the compact camper van with a star into a connected home on wheels.
“Digitalisation and connectivity are important components of our product strategy. By integrating the MBUX multimedia system familiar from Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, we are making the cockpit of our MPV and Marco Polo models based on the V-Class even more comfortable”, explains Klaus Maier, Head of Marketing and Sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans. “And for camping enthusiasts, we have an additional special highlight. We are thrilled to be able to offer the Marco Polo in future as standard with Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control. With that our customers are able to travel in a mobile “smart home”; meaning they are able to centrally control various components within the living area, such as the lights or heating, for example with their smartphone.”
MBUX: greater comfort thanks to intuitive and intelligent multimedia system
The central element of the MBUX multimedia system is its intuitive operating concept and most notably its voice control system. It recognises almost any imaginable sentence concerning the areas of infotainment and vehicle operation. For example, such phrases as “Switch the radio on” and “Switch on the seat heating”. Plus, indirect speech such as “I’m cold” are also understood. The voice control system is activated by means of a button on the steering wheel or by saying “Hey Mercedes”. In addition to this, the voice control system is also capable of learning, can adapt itself to the user and their voice, and even understands slang.
Apart from the voice control system, MBUX can also be controlled using the high-resolution, 7-inch or 10.25-inch touchscreen central display or the touchpad on the centre console. Using touch gestures, the displayed content can be easily enlarged or moved which is especially convenient when it comes to obtaining a precise view of the navigation map. The touchpad also recognises handwriting.
MBUX combines this intuitive and intelligent operation with so-called prediction features. These enable the system to recognise which activity the driver would like to start next. For example, if on the way home, the driver regularly calls “Home”, the telephone number will be suggested on the display. All infotainment and vehicle settings can also be individually configured and then stored in a profile. In the V-Class and its camper van versions, as many as eight profiles can be created.
Even the supply of electricity for external devices is optimised with the introduction of MBUX. USB-C connections allow tablets or mobile phones to be charged – and that includes all of the familiar advantages of the USB-C standard, such as the increased charging current. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it is also possible to mirror the user interfaces of all common smartphone operating systems on the central display.
Mercedes me connect: connectivity for smart mobility
With the MBUX multimedia generation, Mercedes me connect services also achieve a new dimension in terms of their quality, thus improving the overall connectivity experience in and around the V-Class, Marco Polo and Marco Polo HORIZON.
Among the services are the free basic services Maintenance Management, Accident Recovery and Breakdown Management, not to mention Telediagnostics and Remote Vehicle Diagnostics. Upon request, so-called Vehicle setup services are also available. These allow the tyre pressure, fuel and AdBlue fill levels to be called up remotely. Further optional services include:
- Vehicle monitoring with, for example, geofencing, vehicle tracking
- Navigation with, for example, Live Traffic, weather, sending routes and POIs to the vehicle
- Multimedia with, for example, internet-in-the-car
The Mercedes me connect services can be called up either in the vehicle using MBUX or from anywhere via the smartphone app, provided it has an Internet connection.
MBAC: connectivity even in the living area of your Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo
From December 2019, the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo will not only be equipped as standard with the MBUX multimedia system and the latest Mercedes me connect services, but also with the innovative Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control interface module or MBAC for short, thus providing a smart home on wheels. MBAC makes it possible to connect the following aspects in the living area of the Marco Polo, all of which can be conveniently controlled from a central location:
- Checking the fill levels of the water tanks (grey water/fresh water)
- Checking the charge level of the auxiliary battery
- Checking and setting the temperature of the coolbox
- Checking and setting the warm-air auxiliary heating
- Controlling the electrically extendible pop-up roof
- Controlling the electric sliding sunroof
- Controlling the Jehnert sound system
- Controlling the main lighting, incl. ambient lighting
What’s more, MBAC offers timer control of the warm-air auxiliary heating as well as a comprehensive warning and message concept. This ensures that campers know at all times whether or not their vehicle is ready to depart.
Controlling and setting of functions can take place either via the MBUX touchscreen, the touchpad in the vehicle’s cockpit or using the Bluetooth-based smartphone app.
The Marco Polo with MBUX and MBAC will celebrate its premiere at the 2020 Caravan, Motor, Tourism exhibition (CMT) in Stuttgart, Germany. The show opens its doors on 11 January and ends on 19 January. The Mercedes-Benz booth will be in hall 10.
 Information on the facelift of the V-Class and its camper van variants can be found online at: http://mb4.me/sbj8v5EC