Some radio and navigation systems

COMAND NTG 5 debuts in the model year 2014 S-Class
The New Telematics Generation 5 COMAND starts with the new 222 S-Class, with other models to follow.

COMAND Online NTG 4.5 kicks off in model year 2012
The new SLK, C and M-Class come with the new telematics generation COMAND Online NTG 4.5, which will also gradually be introduced in other model series. New features include 3-D displays and an USB interface now located in the center armrest.

Paris 2010: Mercedes-Benz showed its iPad integration
September 2010

smart drive kit for the iPhone released
August 2010

The Touchpad explained: vid 1, vid 2
February 2010

New Telematics Generation NTG 3.5 debuts
For model year 2010 the new telematics generation COMAND NTG 3.5 replaces the earlier NTG 3 in the S-Class and CL, with integrated Bluetooth, SPLITVIEW and Sirius instead of RDS based real time traffic in North America.

myCOMAND debuts in LA on the Concept Fascination.
November 2008

New Telematics Generation NTG 2.5 debuts
For model year 2009 COMAND NTG 2.5 will replace earlier COMAND NTG 1 and NTG 2 in a number of models, for example in the M-Class, R-Class and GL starting this fall. New features include integrated Bluetooth and optional whole word Linguatronic speech recognition. Few use navigation frequently.
This system is available in these Mercedes-Benz models:
2009-2010 CLS-Class, 2009 E-Class,
2009-2012 G-Class, 2009-2012 Gelände Limousine GL, 2009-2011 M-Class,
2009-2012 Sports Tourer R-Class, 2009-2012 SL-Class and 2009-2011 SLK-Class.
April 2008 IPOD Retrofit in A, B, C, CLK, ML, GL, R Class
Richard installed an iPod into a new ML (UK), with the usual precise instructions and pictures. CD Changer Retrofit in ML, GL and R-Class
Richard installed a CD changer in a new ML (UK), with precise instructions and pictures.
September 2007

New Telematics Generation NTG 4 COMAND NAV premiers.
New Telematics Generation 4 (NTG4) COMAND debuts in the new C-Class, and GLK, with pop-up navigation screen and Linguatronic speech recognition. NTG 4 is based on NTG 3.
May 2007

NAVTEQ launches Map Reporter to facilitate user input
It's a new tool to report map discrepancies by pinpointing the exact location of the concern for possible updating of the map database. In the USA they provide map data for Mercedes ML, GL, R, C, CLK among others.
Navteq Map Reporter

Google maps for mobile with live traffic released
Start here. A list of supported phones is online.

SIRI say "Hello" to the E-Class
The iPhone connects via the Drive Kit Plus. Also available in A, B, CLA and C-Class, with others to follow.

Mercedes introduces StreetPilot II navigation retrofit
In 2006 Mercedes introduces retrofitable NAVs intended for the A, B and C-Class. Made by "Yes, it really is that simple" Garmin, the StreetPilot II features a 3.5 inch color screen, real time traffic, Bluetooth, crash compatible mounting on the dash, integration with the automobile's audio system and is based on the StreetPilot c550. In 2008 the StreetPilot III followed.

In 2011 the Becker® MAP PILOT launches. It's a lower cost NAV for the Audio 20 CD radio and integrates with the central controls and the Audio 20 display, and is concealed in the glove compartment. click

Model Year 2006 M-Class and R-Class Rear Headrest Monitors
They are not suitable for model year 2007+ with Neckpro active head restraints.

New M-Class, R-Class, GL-Class with infrared reflecting windshield
reflect radiation so toll collection devices like EZ-Pass or Fastrak won't work unless they are located in one of the three infrared transparent zones.

2007 S-Class COMAND with clickwheel
The 2007 S-Class introduced Mercedes New Telematic Generation 3 (NTG 3).

Mercedes AAS Switch (automatic audio selector) for ML, R and GL
(Power harness that directly replaces the ipod power harness)
B6-782-4228 MSRP $70.00 Available soon..........
Vehicles with RSES "RSES and iPod"
Vehicles w/o RSES "iPod and Aux jack"
Only works together with iPod kit.
samhmbz, 2006

Volkswagen of America is working with Google and nVidia
on a prototype with more real looking three dimensional navigation. It's based on google earth with Keyhole technology and an nVidia graphics chip. The VW electronics research lab is in Palo Alto, California.

Some Mercedes M-Class and R-Class installation bulletins
DVD Navigation Processor Installation: T-I-82.85/441C
Ipod Kit Installation: T-I-82.60/438
Model 163 Optional Navigation System or Single CD Installation: T-SI-82.85/147
Rear Seat Entertainment System Installation M-Class: T-I-82.60/440A
2004-2005 M-Class Satellite Radio Installation: T-I-82.60/350
Before buying the Sirius kit make sure the ML has the wiring installed not just the SAT button.

M-Class MCS plug and play video
An RGB adapter can be plugged into the MCS plug for the NAV module. Model MLNONAV supports SECAM, NTSC, PAL, RGBs, RGsB, SYNC, inverted sync and has two video inputs, one for a DVD player or TV-tuner, and a second one for a backup camera. It switches automatically to backup camera when the car is put in reverse and comes with a 1 year "no questions asked" warranty. For MLs with navigation system model MLRGB adds a NAV/Video switch to the above for which it needs to be shipped to the installer in New York.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class iPod integration

Starting with model year 2006 M-Class, R-Class and GL-Class:
Apple and Mercedes-Benz announce iPod integration. The MBUSA operator's manual for the iPod integration kit comes with the car and it's 12 pages long, with order number S-4208-06A.

Some suggestions for earlier model years:

Hard-wired AUX-IN like in W203 C-Class radios
Bob Olson's M-Class iPOD installation
Daniel's hardwired FM modulator
FM Music Transmitter MMR-60
dension ice> Link: Plus - Rodney's ice> Link install

In model year 1998 to 2000 MLs the iPod aux audio can be wired to the non-fiberoptic MCS COMAND. The iPod nano is powered by a VARTA PoLiFlex® battery.

Mercedes AUX IN audio to D2B fiberoptic
became available for all models with D2B fiber ring, like 2001+ M-Classes and many other MBs from 99 to 04. This allows external audio input for the Audio 10 CD, Audio 30 APS and others without a factory AUX input.
Soundgate AUXMB1 converter info
Audio 10 CD info by Hans Hehl

harman/kardon Becker TrafficPro 4773 on special in North America
The 4773 was reduced and is now sold out, but Becker support still has a few units left, if interested. It's a great NAV for a great price. It's an easy to use NAV, AM/FM tuner with RDS and in-dash CD-player, all in a compact single slot format and used to be $1500 or more. 2 CDs cover the USA, split along the Mississippi. Supported languages are: English US, English GB, Espanol, Francais, Italiano and Deutsch. It also integrates a phone (mute) and iPod (aux) or changer and comes with the "Becker sound". The Mercedes Audio 30 APS is similar but the map CDs are not compatible. The US 2.0 software updates the radio and navigation system software slightly but unfortunately deletes Italian and German. The update is thus not recommended.
Map CD version US 1.0 two CD set split West/East covering the USA (2001)
Map CD version US 2.0 two CD set split West/East covering the USA (2004)
TrafficPro support

Map updates are available from

Mercedes M-Class NAV DVDs North America (COMAND MCS 1 model year 03-05)
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2002.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0108) released August 2002 (6 GB)
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2004.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0203) released August 2004
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2005.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0212) released August 2005
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2006.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0218) released January 2006
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2006.2 (MB part# BQ 646 0219) released August 2006 (6.75 GB)
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2007.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0228) released October 2007
03-05 ML COMAND MCS 1 DVD version 2008-2009 released September 2008

Mercedes M-Class NAV DVDs North America (COMAND MCS/NTG 2 model year 06-08)
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 2004.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0204)
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 2005.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0213)
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 2006.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0220)
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 2007.1 (MB part# BQ 646 0226)
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 8.0
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 9
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND NTG 2 DVD version 10
06-08 M, R, GL, 05-7 C, CLK COMAND MCS 2 DVD version 11 (MB Part# BQ 646 0316)

Mercedes M-Class NAV DVDs North America (COMAND MCS/NTG 2.5 model year 09-11)
09-11 CLS, M, R, GL, SLK COMAND NTG 2.5 DVD version 4 (2010)
09-11 CLS, M, R, GL, SLK COMAND NTG 2.5 DVD version 5 (2011)
09-11 CLS, M, R, GL, SLK COMAND NTG 2.5 DVD version 6 (2012)
09-11 CLS, M, R, GL, SLK COMAND NTG 2.5 DVD version 10 (2013) Mercedes-Benz Part # BQ 646 0302

Mercedes C-Class NAV DVDs North America (COMAND NTG 4 model year 08-11)
08-11 C-Class, 10-11 GLK-Class, 11 SLS AMG 2010 DVD version 7
08-11 C-Class, 10-11 GLK-Class, 11 SLS AMG 2011 DVD version 8
08-11 C-Class, 10-11 GLK-Class, 11 SLS AMG 2012 DVD version 9, Navteq Catalog # U0034-0070-109

Mercedes E-Class NAV DVD North America (COMAND NTG 1 model year 04-08)
03-08 Mercedes-Benz E-Class COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2003.1 (MB part# Q6-46-0135)
03-08 Mercedes-Benz E-Class COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2004.1 (MB part# Q6-46-0205)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2004.2 (MB part# Q6-46-0206)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2004.3 (MB part# Q6-46-0209)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2005.1 (MB part# Q6-46-0210)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2006.1 (MB part# Q6-46-0216)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2006.2 (MB part# Q6-46-0223)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2007.1 (MB part# Q6-46-0229)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2008 (MB part# Q6-46-0232)
03-08 E, 05-08 SLK, 06-08 CLS COMAND NTG-1 DVD version 2012 v.11 Navteq Catalog # U0028-0070-109

Mercedes S-Class NAV DVD North America (COMAND NTG 2 model year 04-08)
04-06 S, CL, 05-08 SL COMAND NTG-2 DVD version 2012 v.10

Mercedes S-Class NAV DVD North America (Harman Becker COMAND NTG 3 model year 07-09)
2007-09 S CL COMAND NTG-3 with 20 GB HD DVD version 3.0 (MB part# 221-827-30-59) released 12/2006
2007-09 S CL COMAND NTG-3 with 20 GB HD DVD version 4.0 (MB part# Q6-46-0225) released 7/2007
2007-09 S CL COMAND NTG-3 with 20 GB HD DVD version 5.0 (MB part# Q6-46-0231) released 10/2007
2007-09 S CL COMAND NTG-3 with 20 GB HD DVD version 8.2 (MB part# Q6-46-0249) released 2010
2007-09 S CL COMAND NTG-3 with 20 GB HD DVD version 10 released 2011
With Telematics update adds DVD video when parked, bird's eye view, real time traffic etc

Mercedes M-Class NAV CDs North America (Alpine MCS 1 model year 2000-2002)
00-02 ML COMAND MCS CD bundle 1999-1 10 CD set incl Canada
00-02 ML COMAND MCS CD bundle 2000-1 10 CD set incl Canada (deletes GPS altitude)
00-02 ML COMAND MCS CD bundle 2001-1 10 CD set incl Canada (since 7/2001)
00-02 ML COMAND MCS CD bundle 2002-1 10 CD set incl Canada (MB release early 2003)
00-02 ML COMAND MCS CD bundle 2004-1 10 CD set incl Canada (MB part# Q6-46-0202) (latest CD version)

Mercedes E, SL, SLK, Maybach, S, CL, CLS NAV DVD Europe (COMAND NTG 1 MY 04+)
Version 3.0 B6 782 3341 A211 827 52 59 - Beginning of 2004
Version 4.0 B6 782 3369 A211 827 67 59 - 2004
Version 4.1 B6 782 3395 A211 827 81 59 -
Version 5.0 B6 782 3489 A211 827 68 59 - Jan 2005 - Includes TMC in the UK
Version 5.1 B6 782 3627 A211 827 93 59 - May 2006
Version 6.0 B6 782 3659 A211 827 95 59 - Jan 2007, TMC for A B CH D DK F GB I NL S
Version 7.0 B6 782 3855 A211 827 10 65 - 2007/2008 - October 2007

Europe, Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, Australia etc. NAV software list (2010)

Mercedes M-Class NAV DVD EUROPE (COMAND NTG 2 model year 06+)
06+ M, GL, R, A, B, C, EUROPE with COMAND NTG-2 DVD version 2006.1 (MB part# B6 782 3641) April 2006
06+ M, GL, R, A, B, C, EUROPE with COMAND NTG-2 DVD version 2006.2 (MB part# B6 782 3674) July 2006
06+ M, GL, R, A, B, C, EUROPE with COMAND NTG-2 DVD version 2006.3 (MB part# B6 782 3695) Sept 2006
06+ M, GL, R, A, B, C, EUROPE with COMAND NTG-2 DVD ver 2007 8.0 (MB part# B6 782 3743) March 2007
06+ M, GL, R, A, B, C, EUROPE with COMAND NTG-2 DVD ver 2007/8 9.0 (MB part# B6 782 3848) October 2007

Mercedes S CL C CLK E G NAV CDs North America (COMAND 2.0/2.5 model year 2000-2005)
00 S-Class COMAND 2.5 until 8/99, VIN to A078551: 10 CD set, "C", version 2004-1 (MB part# Q6-46-0191)
00 S-Class COMAND 2.5 from 9/99, VIN A078551 can use the "D" or "DX" CDs listed below:
01-03 S/CL 01-04 C/CLK 00-02 E 02-05 G, 10 CD set, version 2005-2, release 8/05 (MB part# Q6-46-0215)
01-03 S/CL 01-04 C/CLK 00-02 E 02-05 G, 10 CD set, version 2007-1, release 1/07 (MB part# Q6-46-0222)

Radio Data Service (RDS) expands in San Francisco Bay Area
17 FM stations transmit RDS signals now compared to only 6 a year ago. Most send the station id (PS) and the type of music flag (PTY). The following stations also send scrolling song titles via RadioTEXT (RT): KFOG (world class rock), KKSF (smooth jazz), KSJO (rock), KISS-FM, STAR 101, KMEL, THE BONE (That rocks!) and 94.9FM.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio Selects NAVTEQ Traffic To Enable Company’s New Real-Time Traffic Service

real time LA traffic

real time Shenzhen traffic

real time St. Gotthard tunnel traffic

real time Moskva traffic

Stoic conservative
is often fastest in traffic.

NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas Collaborate to Develop Standard Traffic Codes for Digital Maps of the United States

Mercedes offers MixedTape MPs to download

Bipesauto: Plug and play MP3 adapter for 1998 to 2000 M-Classes

Mercedes DVD COMAND APS can now play MP3 CDs
using a firmware upgrade which just became available for the E-class COMAND DVD (version 3.0). MY04 S- and CL-class DVD COMANDs supplied by Siemens can already play MP3s, just try it.

The Magellan RoadMate 760
is a versatile "Turn it on and Go" nav system covering North America and Europe with data stored on a 20 GB harddisk.

The F500 Mind introduced a touchpad at the Tokyo Motor show 2003.

Upgrading 98/99 M-Class to factory CD/DVD Navigation (North America)
A GPS cellphone combo antenna can be installed on the rear roof, in 98/99/00 M-Classes, and the vehicle speed signal VSS needs to be tapped from the CAN-bus in 98/99 M-Class for this installation. This MBUSA bulletin gives some hints.

Some Mercedes Navigation systems

MCS 1 (CD NAV, CC, 00-02 ML North America)
MCS 1 (DVD NAV, CC, 03-05 ML North America)
MCS 2, Modular COMAND System 2 (DVD NAV, CD, 06+ ML/R, 07+ G/GL, 05+ C/CLK North America)
COMAND 2.0 (CD NAV, 02-05 ML outside North America, 02-05 G)
MB Audio 50 APS (CD NAV, NTG-1, 03+ E etc outside North America)
MB Audio 50 APS (CD NAV, NTG-2, 06+ ML, etc outside North America)
COMAND (DVD NAV, NTG-2, 06+ ML, R outside North America)
COMAND APS (DVD, MP3, NTG-1, 03+ E-Class)
2003 COMAND APS (CD NAV, 03 S-Class)
2004-06 COMAND APS (DVD NAV, MP3, CC, NTG-1, 04-06 S-Class, CL)

Classical KDFC 102.1 premiered HD Radio in the bay area, on the air since May 1, 2003.
Sounds super on DigiCeiver.

KFOG first bay area station with PS, PTY and TP traffic on the air.
THE_BONE, KCBS, KPFA and KKSF have PS and PTY and KALX-FM broadcasts PS. Call 511 for current traffic.

"Dual display" and "3D junction view" and "intersection zoom"
were just introduced in Germany and the UK with a software upgrade for the Alpine DVD NAV. Would be cool to have on M-Class DVD NAVIs, also made by Alpine. And not to forget an M-Class owners' manual on DVD like for the new E.

Mercedes-Benz phone plug
Mercedes Universal Handy Interface
Cellphone prewiring with a standard connector is listed now in some price lists for the CLK coupe and cabrio, G and M. Phones plug with an adapter into the center armrest.

MBUSA Introduces Fully Integrated SIRIUS Satellite Radios
Will it carry TMC?

TwinCeiver Phased Array Directional Antenna Revolutionizes AM and FM Radio Reception

COMAND in S-Class in Japan   COMAND in E-Class in Japan   COMAND in CLK-Class in Japan
Mercedes DVD NAVs in Japan
These S, E, CLK COMANDs in Japan integrate DVD navigation for VICS (the Japanese version of the TMC service used for dynamic traffic routing), audio with cassette and in dash CD, and TV in the LCD display. They were developed with Siemens VDO (S-Class headunit) and harman Becker (E-Class headunit) and the DVD NAVs for both with harman Becker. DVD NAVs were introduced in Japan as early as 1998.

TravelPilot RNS150 TravelPilot RNS150 screen
Blaupunkt TravelPilots
are radios and navs in a compact form for easy installs in single DIN slots. The Fräulein who lives in there talks and sounds the same as in the COMAND APS since TravelPilots use the technology of the S-Class COMAND 2.5 just not with the larger screen. Folks who navigate a lot tend to just follow the voice and only occasionally glance at the approach bar at closely spaced turn-offs. The RNS 150 announces directions in english, deutsch, español, français, italiano and nederlands, just like the COMAND. The dead reckoning performance and self correcting learning algorithm is quite good, but overall route guidance is lacking.

MP3s in a Mercedes: Ken Yee's Digisette review

Real Time traffic info North America
is available in 65 metro areas. map. All 2001+ Benzes receive real time reports on their MCS or COMAND screens via Tele Aid Traffic: start here. But this cellular phone based data service is not popular and will be discontinued.

M-Class AM/FM antenna, 98/99 radio and Bose
The M-Class antennas are integrated into the rear glass described here, page 1 and here, page 2. The M-Class Bose sound system amplifier is part 163 820 0189 or 163 820 1889 and mounted on the firewall.
The 98/99 M-Class Radio uses the standard DIN-ISO connector. Phone MUTE turns the radio off during calls and displays "PHONE" on the LCD. These frequencies are supported:
FM: 87.9 to 107.9 MHz
AM: 530 to 1710 kHz
WB: 162.40 to 162.55 MHz (Weatherband Channel 1 through 7)
Bose AudioPilot® sound system with 8 speakers and Acoustimass® subwoofer
Bose 6 channel amplifier on firewall above pedals
NOAA Weather Radio

Tele Atlas Launches Comprehensive Turn-by-turn Map Database for North America
including real time traffic capability.

The S-Class COMAND system, COMAND 2.5, was used from 1998 to 2002. COMAND stands for Cockpit Management and Data System. It's reliable but fairly slow recalculating routes after missed turns. The map data is often older and not so complete, but it does include more restaurants and special destinations than many newers ones I know. The voice quality is superb, and the voice comands very precise, so one can navigate without having to look at the screen!

A second generation of COMAND with a new wider 16:9 color TFT screen was presented with the 2003 S- and CL-Class. Navigation became optional for $1500 but was included in the S 600 sedan and coupe. As in the previous system other options are an integrated phone, CD-changer and in Europe also a TV tuner. Looks great and the CDs are compatible with the previous system. BTW, this is COMAND 2.0 DX CD NAV under a new cover. The after-market version is the Blaupunkt DX-V.

A software update for COMAND 2.0 (M, CLK, C, E, G) was released in August 2002, which accelerates the system, and includes an intelligent speller dropping letters not making sense.

The Dietz 1440 video adapter for COMAND
enables video input into the Mercedes COMAND NAV systems without a TV-tuner. It costs EU239 and supports PAL and NTSC TV signals for external video signals like DVD players, videorecorders, cameras etc.
Dietz info site

European Sprinter radio Mercedes Sound 40 Pro
The Sprinter commercial vans and Vaneo have an Internet Connection starting in September 2002. Download NAV routes, Dispo lists, etc from your desktop into the van using the Sound 40 Pro made by Becker. Works with Fleetboard.

RTNA demo
5 cm (2 inches) position accuracy demonstrated
Mercedes Research and Technology North America showed a M-Class with precise vehicle location to 5 cm (2 inches) position accuracy when driving on Interstate Highway 280, using GPS and precise maps technology. The PASS system for passenger cars is under development.
August 2000

Most of the navigation systems mentioned here are self-calibrating by continuously comparing distances travelled with their map data, and auto-correcting any differences. Some other manufacturers' systems don't to that nor use auto tire calibration. Buyer beware. Uncalibrated systems are not more accurate than handheld GPS.

DVD vs CD navigation software
DVD NAVs, e.g. from Alpine usually have more map details and faster route recalculation and 2 more zoom levels and cover North America on one DVD. On the other hand it's easier to back up CDs, and it's a 10 hour drive to the edge of my CD coverage area. A full set of 11 Nav CDs costs retail around $285 and less at $140 when ordered before the vehicle leaves the prep center.

harman Becker introduce the Traffic Pro in the US: model 4773
Fall 2002. The distant Mercedes relative is the MB Audio 30 APS, which I like using, easy - never read a manual, let's you make any turns you like without getting confused, and with fast recalculations it adjusts to the user, instead of having to wait for it. It will be sold as Harman/Kardon and without CAN interface for the display in the instrument cluster. The MB Audio 30 APS was developed by innovative systems and Becker for Mercedes, starting in 1997 and was first introduced in 1999. The TrafficPro is the after-market version. "Der ultimative granatenmäßige Oberhammer" and more than 130,000 units have been sold in Europe (by early 2001). One CD covers most of Europe and with software version 4.0 dynamic traffic guidance became available using the radio data system and the TMC message format (free) or with cell-phone and GSM (charges apply, unpopular), as well as much more map data. Once this system becomes available in the US ( has been in beta for a year now) it will use only two CDs, one east of the Mississippi and one west of it. Another nice feature: It can play music CDs while it navigates. This does not apply to the later APS 50.
Becker support

Mercedes-Benz integrated phones
With model 1999 M-Classes MBUSA offered dash integrated analog cellphones.
Paul's MB Info Website: Integrated Phones

Mercedes history: First GPS NAV sold by MBUSA
In September 1997 MBUSA introduced an optional "GPS navigational system" for the 1998 and 1999 model year M-Class, the first MB NAV in North America. On the first test drive in 1997 it kept tracking correctly even when encountering small deadends and parking lots with frequent tight turns. It's mounted above the dash vents so drivers don't have to take the eyes off the road. The latest map software version is 2001.1, previous versions were 1999.1 and 1998.1. The map database software is supplied by NavTeq.

2000 Alpine MCS MCS 1 in Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Starting with 2000 in North America Alpine supplies the Modular COMAND System (MCS). From 2000 to 2002 the MCS uses a CD navigation module. Starting in 2003 a DVD navigation module was used. In 2004 a SVC button was added and in model year 2005 it became a SAT button. The first MCS CD software version is 1999.1. The first MCS DVD software version 2001.1, both supplied by Navteq.

Mercedes COMAND NAVs: from APS 1 to COMAND 2.5
Blaupunkt's first navigation patents were issued in 1978. In 1983 EVA (Elektonischer Verkehrslotse für Autofahrer) was introduced. In 1989 the first production ready CAR NAV worldwide was shown: the TravelPilot IDS (Identification of Digitized Streets) with digital maps supplied by Etak, but expensive memory and missing digital maps precluded a commercial success. innovative systems developed maps in the Hamburg area in the early 1990s. In the mid 90s series production of the first car NAV started. The APS 1 was listed in the sales brochures and pricelists for the 1995 S-Class W140 as Autopilotsystem (APS) Code 351.

The COMAND system is available in MLs outside of North-America. It's the COMAND 2.0, as used in the E-Class, CLK etc, and similar to the S/CL-Class version, which is COMAND 2.5. It has an electronic gyro, clear voice, good accuracy but slow route recalculation of long routes. Options like cell-phones, TV, Linguatronic and dynamic traffic updates are available, some only after-market. A new COMAND 2.0 from the MB dealer costs about $2400 and good used systems start at $1100. There are three different 2.0 versions out, depending on CAN and D2B bus configurations. NavTeq of TeleAtlas supply the map data. Two map data updates per year are provided in Europe, since about 1995 when the first versions of this system appeared in the W140 S-Class sedan and coupe.

1993 Communication and Navigation System (CNS)
Mercedes-Benz presented the first fully integrated telematics system in the automotive industry in 1993, when the Communication and Navigation System (CNS) was premiered in the S-Class. The W140 S-Class factory pictures above were provided by

Mercedes-Benz Vario Research Car

The Vario Research car was introduced at the Geneva auto show in the spring of 1995.

Technical highlights:

  • Swap bodies: sedan, wagon, convertible and pickup on one and the same chassis, exchanged within 15 minutes

  • Light and sturdy bodies made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP)

  • Active Body Control (ABC)
    Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz CL (1999, C 215 series)

  • Color display
    Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (1998, W 220 series)

  • Central rotary control for the electronic functions
    Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2005, W 221 series)

  • Navigation system
    Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (1995, W 140 series)

  • Safety display coupled to traffic sign evaluating function and distance warning radar

The Philips Auto Mignon record player
was introduced in 1958. John Lennon had one in his white Mercedes-Benz 600 pictured above. Next to it a "Motor ola" ad from 1962. Motorola founder Paul Galvin invented the car radio in 1930. And the Blaupunkt from 1926.

GPS Risks
DOT Releases Report Assessing Vulnerability Of Transportation Infrastructure Relying on GPS
US Coast Guard GPS navigation center
Grounding of the ROYAL MAJESTY (over-reliance on automated systems)
CHINAdaily: Motorists switch brain off

The Future
Real time inter-vehicle communications prototype
DriveBy InfoFueling Research Car
PASS system with 2 inch position accuracy, demonstrated on I-280
Driver Distraction - Looking Inside the Driver's Head
Intelligent Maps, NextMAP, Enhanced Digital Maps (EDMap)
Automated Personalization for Driver Assistance
Automated Acquisition of Annotated High-precision Maps
Adaptive Distributed Guidance and Control
Floating Car Data System
Wireless sensor networks
Eternal bliss.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class Homelink®
Here are some tips how to use the Homelink® buttons in the ML's overhead console. It works for all garage door openers, including those with rolling code. It's compatible with Smart Homes and ranches, controlling gates, floodlights, sprinklers, pumps to your fire pool and not to forget your buffalo feeders right from your Mercedes 4x4.
picture of overhead console with Homelink® module flipped down

M-Class with the Mercedes 
Entertainment System
Paul's MB Info Site: Mercedes video entertainment system (VES)

"Me and Lorenzo, rollin' in a Benz-o."

Wolfgang's MB Page