Holistic concept for greater well-being and fitness: Mercedes-Benz "Fit & Healthy": Comfort is becoming even more intelligent

Jan 5, 2017
Stuttgart/Las Vegas

Stuttgart/Las Vegas. The ambition of Mercedes-Benz is a car that helps to promote the well-being of its passengers. Mercedes-Benz vehicles of tomorrow will enhance the fitness and well-being of their passengers in an even more individualised way while offering worlds of experience for all the senses. In connection with Mercedes me, Mercedes-Benz is also planning a holistic ecosystem to assist the user with an active and healthy lifestyle also when away from the vehicle. The data that have been authorised by the user will be bundled in the vehicle's own back-end to provide personalised recommendations for greater well-being and fitness, with key importance being attached to transparency, self-determination and data privacy. With the "Fit & Healthy" concept vehicle and the "Wall of Wishes" exhibit from Mercedes me, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Mercedes-Benz is giving a peek into the holistic concept as well as some specific features.

At Mercedes-Benz, "Intelligent Drive“ stands for the intelligent connectivity of systems, sensors and algorithms. Alongside safety and powertrain, comfort, too, is now becoming more intelligent: Mercedes-Benz is engaged in a pioneering "Fit & Healthy" project designed to enhance the well-being of passengers. Hence, with the car of the future Mercedes-Benz is supporting an active and healthy lifestyle with intelligent solutions.

Alongside a workplace and private environment, the vehicle interior is increasingly becoming a "third place", a living and relaxation area in which passengers can enjoy contemporary luxury and intelligent comfort. The vision similar to the "Intelligent Drive" concept: sensors – either built into the vehicle or in a wearable – measure the driver's vital parameters as well as data on the immediate and wider area around the vehicle. This information is merged and, by means of appropriate algorithms, the driver is presented with a tailor-made offer for enhancing their well-being.

Thanks to intelligent data connectivity, adaptive comfort and infotainment systems can, for example, reduce tiredness or stress to suit the particular situation, such as with the option to select a stress-free route on the navigation system. The following are conceivable: new-type seat massages, stimulating or relaxing music to suit the driver's mood and traffic conditions, matching climate control including fragrancing and suitable ambience lighting.

A later stage of development will also include assistance from safety and assistance systems. This connectivity will result, for example, in a recommendation to the passengers to take a power nap. The navigation system can advise them of a suitable rest area. The previously described comfort systems would help first to relax the passengers and then to stimulate them again.

Strategic cooperation with Philips technology group

The importance of innovative and integrated wearable solutions in the Mercedes‑Benz of tomorrow is underlined by the strategic cooperation between Daimler AG and Philips, a leading provider in the field of healthcare technology. The aim is to advance wearable-based data acquisition in vehicles with consideration of high data protection standards in a joint research project with series production in the near future.

What the Mercedes-Benz management has to say about the "Fit & Healthy" project

"Our vision is that Mercedes-Benz drivers should arrive at their destination feeling better and fitter than when they got into the vehicle. We focus on our customers' well-being. We want to give them the kind of assistance they are entitled to expect from Mercedes-Benz." Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

"Our ambition is typical of Mercedes-Benz: a car that meets the individual needs of our customers. There is a close correlation between safety and well-being: a person who feels safe feels better; and a person who feels well drives more safely." Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Group Research at Daimler

"'Fit & Healthy' means more than mental well-being and bodily health. Enjoyment and attentiveness are other important components. We can assist our customers by enabling them to enjoy their freedom, such as the time they spend in their car, to the maximum and to harness their own potential." Dr. Goetz Renner, Project Manager "Fit & Healthy

Mercedes me: "Fit & Healthy" also beyond the vehicle

Thanks to the Mercedes me ecosystem, the car of the future will become even more of a digital companion. Already in the design of connectivity services, Mercedes-Benz attaches high priority to data privacy. A prerequisite for all services is that customers receive transparent information and are able to decide which data are collected for which purpose.

With Mercedes me, "Fit & Healthy" can also be experienced beyond the vehicle. This is because a corresponding "Mercedes me" offer will soon be available for motorists who wish to stay fit and maintain their active lifestyle round-the-clock, also beyond their car: The driver's state of well-being can be measured by an online questionnaire and some brief tests. Based on the information obtained by self-assessment, the user is presented with tailor-made offers, such as health training.

The "Mercedes me" experts at Mercedes-Benz are also working on additional features designed to assist the occupants, actively reduce stress in the car and improve concentration. To do this, Mercedes me will in future merge information from inside the vehicle with data collected beyond the car. Such data can be generated, for example, from the vehicle via the vehicle back-end or from mobile devices such as fitness trackers or smart watches with heart rate monitors, or it can come from weather apps, electronic diaries or "smart home" applications such as a smart kitchen.

This involves the back-end in the vehicle bundling the user-authorised data and giving him or her personalised recommendations for greater well-being and fitness. If, say, a high stress level is detected, this can be reduced, for example, with coaching on a particular breathing technique. The relevant instructions could be shown on the display in the cockpit, supported by audiovisual feedback. Such bio-feedback is already successfully used in high-performance sport and medicine.

The "Wall of Wishes" exhibit at the CES presents a vision of how Mercedes me might in future accompany the driver round the clock in the service of their well-being and fitness. Using iPads, visitors can choose from a number of wishes and decide whether, for example, they wish to live more actively or at a slower pace. Based on an example of a daily routine in 2025, a short film then shows how Mercedes me might give recommendations to promote emotional, cognitive and physical well-being around personal mobility and beyond.

Concept vehicle gives a peek into intelligent comfort of tomorrow

In the "Fit & Healthy" concept vehicle, which is based on a Mercedes-Maybach S‑Class, visitors to the CES can experience the intelligent comfort of tomorrow: regeneration and activation are two of the worlds of experience that can assist the car's passengers with regeneration or activation of both body and mind. This involves numerous comfort systems in the vehicle, such as fragrancing, massage, ambient light, ionisation or climate control. The worlds of experience are both cognitive and sensory in many dimensions of perception. With 4D Sound for example, as it is called, sound is converted by acoustic transducers, known as exciters, into mechanical motion, and so transformed into a physical sound experience.

Also lasting three minutes, "Motion" is the name of the third "Fit & Healthy" offering in the concept vehicle and is devoted to moving. In a video, the famous US physician David Agus explains some seat features, such as the Active seat and deep massage, which can be experienced in the concept vehicle, and invites visitors to take part in the kind of fitness exercises that make sense during a driving break.

Vital data are measured in the concept vehicle with real values via a sensor system in the steering wheel and also via a wearable such as the "health watch" from Philips. At the request of the user, the watch senses their heart rate in real-time and informs them about their activity behaviour and sleep rhythm. Daimler is entering into a strategic cooperation with Philips as one of the leading suppliers of healthcare technology. The aim is to advance wearable-based data acquisition in vehicles with consideration of high data protection standards in a joint research project with series production in the near future.

That "Fit & Healthy" is not just pie in the sky is proved by a host of equipment features that are already available to promote the well-being of customers: for example, fine-particle filters are used to ensure that the interiors of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars offer an above-average air quality and are especially allergy-friendly. From the A- to the S‑Class, all model series carry the seal of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF). Mercedes-Benz drivers can already actively control their level of in-car comfort: with numerous Mercedes-Benz innovations such as the ENERGIZING massage function according to the hot-stone principle, the AIR BALANCE package with ionisation and active fragrancing, individually fine-adjustable climate control for every seat, heated armrest surfaces or ambience lighting that can be individualised in up to 64 colour moods depending on the model series.

The next stage will follow in 2017: under the name ENERGIZING COMFORT, the individual comfort systems will be bundled into programs in the new S‑Class for greater holistic well-being. That vitality and fitness are not the privilege of luxury-class drivers will soon be demonstrated by an innovation called ENERGIZING seat kinetics. This new system supports the alternation of sitting posture by means of minute movements of seat cushion and backrest. ENERGIZING seat kinetics will launch in the family of compact cars.