The smart home goes mobile, too.
Even though the Detroit Auto Show left January in the dust for a mild Michigan June, there are still plenty of automotive happenings around the world this month. Mercedes has a booth at this year’s Caravan, Motor, and Tourism exhibition in Germany, where the automaker is showing off a new package for its Marco Polo compact camper van along with a slew of new smart home features that’ll launch later this year.
The new package adds a bit of sportiness to the mini mobile home. Called the Premium Sport Package Exterior, it adds sporty exterior bits such as five-spoke 18-inch wheels and chrome bumper inserts. It’s not a massive design overhaul, but it does also include Mercedes-Benz lettering on the brake calipers and a tweaked “sports” suspension. Mercedes says the package will be available to order soon.
Starting this spring, Mercedes will make its Mercedes-Benz Advance Control (MBAC) standard equipment on the Marco Polo camper van. The system uses the van’s 10.25-inch touchscreen central display and a smartphone app. The system allows travelers to monitor and control several of the van’s functions and features such as checking the fresh and gray water tank levels, checking the auxiliary battery charge level, controlling the warm-air auxiliary heater and toolbox temperature, operating the electric pop-up roof and sunroof, controlling the sound system, and adjusting the brightness of interior and ambient lighting.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo With Mercedes-Benz Advance Control
Future Marco Polo owners can get more, though. Also available from spring 2020 in the camper van is Mercedes me connected services that include vehicle monitoring, navigation with live traffic and weather, in-car internet, and more. All these new features will be available starting this spring in the Marco Polo with MBAC coming as standard equipment. Pricing information for the new package isn't available yet.
Mercedes-Benz at the 2020 Caravan, Motor and Tourism exhibition: spotlight on connectivity
Stuttgart. This year’s Mercedes booth at the Caravan, Motor and Tourism (CMT) exhibition is all about connectivity. For the first time, the Stuttgart-based vehicle manufacturer is showing its compact Marco Polo camper van equipped with the innovative Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control (MBAC) interface module. MBAC enables a number of functions in the living area – such as the lights or the heating – to be controlled centrally using a smartphone app, for example. From the spring of 2020, this new feature will see the Marco Polo become a smart home on wheels – and best of all, it comes as standard. Also present at the world's biggest tourism and leisure exhibition are the James Cook from Westfalia and the LBX 365 from Bimobil. These demonstrate the possibilities which MBAC offers conversion specialists in the motorhome segment who opt for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a base vehicle. An interactive activity area rounds off the connectivity experience to which the brand with the three-pointed star welcomes visitors from 11 to 19 January in hall 10.
"Connectivity is an important component of our product strategy which we have been intensively pursuing over the course of the past two years in the motorhome segment. In 2018, we celebrated the launch of our ground-breaking Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control interface module in concept vehicles. And only a year later, the first conversion specialists were able to implement MBAC in motorhome prototypes based on the Sprinter. 2020 will now see MBAC added as a standard component to our own Marco Polo camper vans. With this, we can offer camping fans a completely new level of comfort and live up to our aspiration of being the innovative leader in the segment", explains Klaus Maier, Head of Marketing and Sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans.
MBAC for smart living
The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo, the compact camper van from the brand with the three-pointed star, will feature MBAC as standard from the spring of 2020, thus becoming a smart home on wheels. Using the 10.25-inch touchscreen central display in the cockpit and a smartphone app, a broad range of functions in the living area can be intuitively controlled from a central location. Functions include:
- Checking the fresh water and grey water tank fill levels
- Checking the charge level of the auxiliary battery
- Controlling the warm-air auxiliary heater, including programming a timer and night-time temperature reduction
- Controlling the coolbox temperature
- Extending or retracting the electric pop-up roof
- Opening and closing the electrically operated sliding sunroof
- Controlling the sound system, regulating everything from the bass intensity to the sound setup
- Adjusting the brightness level and colour temperature of the interior lighting, including that of the ambient lighting
What’s more, visitors of the CMT can experience first-hand the spectrum of possibilities which MBAC offers conversion specialists in both the Westfalia James Cook and the Bimobil LBX 365. MBAC gives motorhome manufacturers – such as the Westfalia brand from Gotha with its long tradition or the off-road expert Bimobil from Oberpframmern – the option to completely integrate their body fittings into the connectivity solution provided by the base vehicle, regardless of shape and size. The interface module from Mercedes-Benz is available for camper vans as well as for alcove motorhomes, partially integrated and fully integrated motorhomes based on the Sprinter. The operating concept is the same as that used in the Marco Polo. Additionally, a control panel with a touch function can be integrated into the living area of Sprinter-based motorhomes. Both, the James Cook and the LBX 365 make use of this.
Smart mobility thanks to Mercedes me connect
Thanks to the integration of the MBUX multimedia system generation familiar from passenger cars, Mercedes me connect services will be available from spring 2020 in the Marco Polo in a new quality and will enable an even smarter mobility experience. 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. With this, it is possible to control such things as the tyre pressure or the fuel fill level. Further optional services include:
- Vehicle monitoring with, for example, geofencing and vehicle tracking
- Navigation with, for example, live traffic, weather and sending of routes and POIs (Point of Interest) to the vehicle
- Multimedia with, for example, internet-in-the-car
The services can be called up either using MBUX or the appropriate smartphone app. Mercedes me connect has also been available since August 2019 in the Sprinter for motorhome applications.
Not just more connected, but more stylish too
At the world's biggest tourism and leisure exhibition, the Marco Polo is not only showing its new connectivity capabilities, but also exudes an especially stylish presence thanks to the new Premium Sport Package Exterior. The most eye-catching features of the package are the bumpers with chrome inserts and the 18-inch light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design. The brake callipers with Mercedes-Benz lettering and the sports suspension round off the design package which is available for order soon – also for the Marco Polo HORIZON.