In-car conference calls coming to 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-class sedans

Looking ahead: Mercedes-Benz recently published a detailed rundown of the features of its 2024 E-Class sedan, which will arrive later this year. Among them is a native app store that will launch with some entertainment and communication apps, including the Cisco Webex video conference tool.

Cisco and Mercedes-Benz announced that the Webex video conference app will be available in the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan when it comes out later in 2023. The car will allow conference calls using an interior camera, Wi-Fi, and 5G capabilities. The camera can also record videos and take selfies.

The in-car hybrid work software could be an effort to facilitate the return of office employees after two years of pandemic-required work from home. The extra commute hours are a key issue in the office-versus-home work debate because many see it as a huge waste of time and gas.

Cisco did not discuss the conflict but acknowledged that hybrid work is here to stay. The company says Webex will help people stay in touch with co-workers while picking up their children (child care is another major obstacle facing the return to offices) or traveling to business.

Fortunately, for safety reasons, the car will switch calls from any app to audio-only when moving to avoid driver distraction. Using video-conferencing software in the car while parked can be helpful if users don’t have access to a phone, tablet, or laptop.

Instead of piggybacking on mobile devices like Apple Car Play or Android Auto, the 2024 E-Class has a native operating system and third-party apps. Besides Webex, the app store will include TikTok, AngryBirds, the Vivaldi web browser, and Zoom at launch. Zoom now allows video conferencing in Teslas and one-on-one calls through Car Play.

The Webex in-car app will include noise canceling and auto transcription so that voices are sharper and easier to understand. It will also feature content sharing, emojis, and other reactions.

The future Mercedes-Benz will offer in-car entertainment streaming through the Zync entertainment platform. Zync’s interface will include options such as local programming, sports, news, and content from 30 streaming services. Mercedes-Benz did not specify which services are included in Zync, but said it will work with various regional partners to expand the number of available channels.

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