Mercedes-Benz opens Electric Software Hub in Germany

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In a move to solidify its name as a leader in both electric mobility and vehicle software, Mercedes-Benz has officially opened its Electric Software Hub: a facility that will bring together the three-pointed star brand’s software, hardware, system integration, and testing functions under one roof.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How much did Mercedes-Benz invest for the Sindelfingen facility?

    Mercedes-Benz invested more than €200 million in the Electric Software Hub.
  • How many floors does the Electric Software Hub have?

    The newly opened facility in Sindelfingen has a total of eight floors with various spaces dedicated for offices, laboratories, and test benches.
  • “The Electric Software Hub is an epicenter of our research and development and at the same time closely networked with the worldwide production sites. This is where key aspects of the future of Mercedes-Benz become reality — especially our own MB.OS operating system. Cars are among the most complex products in general. The hardware and software are decoupled and must work together perfectly. We ensure this in the Electric Software Hub. It is our software integration factory,” said Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer.

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    According to the Stuttgart-based automotive company, the newly opened software hub has around 753,474 square feet of floor space and will house eight user floors, including a basement.

    The top floors, per Mercedes, are where the software code creation and pre-integration labs are located. Here, experts use virtual technologies and simulations called “hardware-in-the-loop” to test whether the various software components interact correctly with each other and whether the vehicle functions are implemented correctly.

    “Through the Electric Software Hub, we are able to quickly and safely integrate new software components into a production vehicle in an interactive environment. Our global digital hubs develop these independently of location and around the clock. First, we link the software components together virtually. We then test and optimize them for the highest customer demands,” said Mercedes-Benz Chief Software Officer Magnus Östberg.

    Below the upper floors sit the “retreat areas,” meeting rooms where teams can evaluate data they gathered during their tests.

    Further below are the floors specially designed for laboratories, workshops, and test benches. The German carmaker said that the vehicle test benches allow the facility to reproduce diverse global challenges Mercedes-Benz vehicles will meet around the world. Here, the vehicles can be subjected to temperatures from negative 30 to 50 degrees and can be put through their paces at speeds of up to 155mph.

    “Our developers can access the flexible and networked test benches from all over the world and test their software on prototypes of the control units. This is then tested with the rest of the hardware in the vehicle and finally checked for suitability for series production and everyday use. These endurance tests include exposure to heat, cold and rain. In this process, we work efficiently together in international teams physically as well as remotely in one building. This makes the Electric Software Hub an important building block for the success of MB.OS,” Östberg added.

    In addition, Mercedes’ newly opened Electric Software Hub will offer 250 charging points, allowing a large number of electric vehicles to be recharged at the same time which will help the facility speed up testing as well as the pace of development of their current and future EVs.

    Mercedes-Benz’s Electric Software Hub is designed with no separation between workshops, laboratories, and offices. This, according to the brand, promotes collaborative working without physical boundaries and faster results.

    “The transformation requires even more networked working. With the Electric Software Hub, we are creating an environment for flexibility and creativity. An open room concept, free choice of workplaces and various rest areas indoors and outdoors provide optimal working conditions for our engineers. This will allow the approximately 1,100 colleagues in our new building to unleash their full innovative power,” said Mercedes-Benz Member of the Board of Management Sabine Kohleisen.

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    The advanced and forward-looking Electric Software Hub is the result of Mercedes’ investment of over €200 million in the facility. The software hub in Sindelfingen has created some 1,000 new jobs for the locals with around 2,000 more jobs to be added to Mercedes-Benz’s global R&D network.

    “The Electric Software Hub will be the technical hub of digitalization. With this software integration factory, we are consistently pursuing the path toward e-mobility and shaping the change toward a software-driven mobility provider. The investments that have been made here are not only of enormous importance for the future viability of the Sindelfingen location, but also a clear commitment to Germany as a business location — and the global crises make it very clear how crucial this is,” said Mercedes-Benz Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of the Works Council Ergun Lümali.

    Photos from Mercedes-Benz

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