Previously, Mercedes connect me services were only available to owners of newer Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Now, with the new Mercedes connect me Adapter and app, millions of previously, non connect me-capable vehicle owners (2002 and up), can take part in the connected, digital lifestyle offered via the new Mercedes me, premium services platform.
The product uses an OBD2 stick that plugs into the service port under the dashboard of the car. The user then uses an app on their phone to connect to the stick via bluetooth. To use the app, users must be registered via the Mercedes me portal to connect their data.
The app allows the user to get a basic diagnostic overview of their vehicle. It provides a list of last recorded vehicle status: fuel level, mileage, parking duration, a photo of your vehicle, insurance data and registration number.
The app is especially useful for business travelers who can record their trips. It provides a parking locator, parking timer, parking time reminder, as well as an easy way to contact the dealer or service center in case of breakdown or emergencies.
My role was strategic consultant for the high level concept, to brainstorm new and innovative product features, competitive analysis and to provide a basic wireframe and UI concept to kick off the process. Having previously worked on the strategy and concept for the Mercedes me platform, my task was to figure out how to further integrate the device and app into the existing platform.
There were many challenges with this project, primarily due to a complex combination of connectivity & usability issues related to the OBD connector, bluetooth, mobile app, and getting them all to work seamlessly. There were many ideas and feature suggestions that were made that the team felt could augment the product from both a usability and a business focus, but unfortunately, did not make it into the first release. As a result, the product offers a very basic set of features which the client felt very strongly would be enough for a first launch.
Overall, I felt that the final product, although limited in scope, is solid and meets with the business cases proposed by the client.