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Mercedes-Benz Gives the Auto Manual a Virtual Boost with Augmented Reality

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The same approach to augmented reality that some companies use to improve workforce productivity could also make it easier for car owners to operate and maintain their vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz is driving down that new path by releasing an augmented reality owner’s manual called Ask Mercedes for iPhones and iPads.

The app uses image recognition to align the user’s device with the interior of a 2018 E-Class Mercedes-Benz and AR beacons to identify various features. The app then provides additional information about selected features, including video tutorials.

Image by Product Concierge Mercedes-Benz of Naples/YouTube

“We are creating a personalized customer experience that goes well beyond the vehicle,” said Britta Seeger, a Daimler AG/Mercedes-Benz marketing executive, in a company statement. “With innovative services such as ‘Ask Mercedes,’ we are further expanding our digital ecosystem.”

While the app is currently only available for iOS in the US, a company spokesperson revealed that an Android version will follow early next year. The app is also scheduled to launch in Malaysia before the end of 2017, and in India and Hong Kong by early 2018, with a version in German expected to follow soon thereafter.

Image by Product Concierge Mercedes-Benz of Naples/YouTube

But Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first automaker to launch an AR owner’s manual. Genesis, the luxury line at Hyundai, also released a Virtual Guide earlier this year.

From improving internal operations, to assisting car sales, to enhancing driver safety, in the auto industry, it appears AR has already moved past mere trend status and is rapidly becoming a full-fledged staple.

Cover image via Daimler AG

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