At CES this year, we sat down with Johan de Nysschen and Dr. Peter Steiner from Audi to discuss the automaker's future infotainment plans. At the time, Steiner mentioned that his team had looked into the possibility of an integrated app store built into the MMI system. And Audi isn't alone.
According to a report by Automotive News Europe, Mercedes-Benz is looking into the possibility of its own software market, which the automaker's chief designer, Gorden Wagener, says would release apps "that make the life of the Mercedes driver even more comfortable."
Wagener didn't get into specifics about what apps would be available and how they would be delivered, but he makes it clear that high-speed in-car wireless internet is a requirement. "It will take a while before we bring this into cars across the board," says Wagener. "The big issue here is the infrastructure. Without a data infrastructure that permits fairly high transmission speeds into the car, it's no fun and it doesn't make sense."
While Audi has already included 4G LTE in its product roadmap, the hardware won't be available until 2015 at the earliest. And Mercedes has yet to announce plans to bring high-speed data connections to its vehicles (it toyed with the tech in 2009). Until that happens – and strict software guidelines are in place – don't expect an embedded Mercedes app store for at least the next few years.