Issue: Mar 2013


First production-ready Android infotainment system



by Ed Richardson

Android, which is driving the operating system of millions of Smartphones and tablets around the world, can now be found under the hood. Unveiled by Mercedes in the latest SLS AMG Roadster, the “AMG Performance Media” package is a system which the company says is “inspired by motorsport”.

The multimedia system offers a selection of telemetric displays such as lateral and linear acceleration, engine data and lap times on a virtual racetrack. It can even create and record the driver’s own race tracks. “Working together, AMG and Noser Engineering developed the highly successful APM from idea to series production in record time. With the AMG Performance Media system vehicle-specific data such as coolant and oil temperature, torque and throttle position are recorded, visualized and stored. Any track layout including sector and lap times can be analysed,” Raphael Winter, Head of Development Chassis Systems & E/E, Mercedes-AMG is quoted as saying in a Noser Engineering brochure.

The system also provides high-speed mobile internet access. When the car is stationary, the driver and passenger are able to surf the web, download and install apps, and send or receive emails – “this unrivalled system has functions comparable to those of a PC, notebook or smartphone. AMG Performance Media uses the widespread, high-performance Android operating system. This exclusive new development will also be installed in other AMG high-performance cars in the future,” says Mercedes-AMG. The German luxury sports car manufacturer commissioned Noser Engineering to develop AMG Performance Media, an Android-based system as an extension of the existing head unit, which is present in all models.

The APM is seamlessly integrated into the existing systems and requires no modifications to the vehicles. Thanks to the openness of Android, AMG now has a flexible software system that can be easily extended with new functions and adapted to other vehicle models. The graphic design capabilities of Android 2.1 have been fully taken advantage of for this project and the APM offers the customers a visually impressive experience, according to Noser.

The whole project took less than two years, from the first evaluation of an early generation of hardware to the stamp of approval by Daimler‘s quality assurance. With the two companies working in close cooperation, the project was conducted in an agile way by progressively implementing the system based on customer feedback and requirements. This made it possible for AMG to influence the course of the project significantly, without causing delays. AMG Performance Media is activated by pressing the AMG key in the AMG DRIVE UNIT, and operated with the COMAND Controller. All functions are visible on the high-resolution 17.8-centimetre color display of the standard COMAND APS multimedia system.

Numerous items of information which are otherwise integrated into the AMG menu in the central display are now to be found in graphic form in AMG Performance Media – e.g. the tyre pressure display, the active transmission mode, the ESP® mode, the suspension setup and the engine oil/coolant/ transmission oil temperatures. Sheer excitement is guaranteed by the “Power” display: Depending on the accelerator position shown on the right, the central dial instrument shows the current engine output in hp while the scale on the left indicates the current torque in newton metres – in this way AMG Performance Media delivers full, visual proof of the high performance of which the SLS AMG Roadster is capable

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