Mercedes-Benz offered a closer look at the interior of its new E-Class sedans and fancy dashboard earlier this month. The car looks nice so far! It boasts an electrified powertrain and tons of tech, including support for Level 3 autonomous driving and a lot of apps you'll need to pay extra to use. The car seems like a comfortable way to get around, too. Perhaps so comfortable that you might just want to turn your car into a mobile office.
If that's the case, then you're in luck. Mercedes-Benz has struck a partnership with Cisco to kit out the new E-Class with Webex Meetings and Calling and Webex AI audio capabilities — everything a busy worker needs to never get a moment's peace. They announced the collaboration at last week's E-Class event and revealed more details at Mobile World Congress. "This partnership will help people get work done safely, securely and comfortably in their vehicles," the companies said in a press release. That definitely seems better than getting stuff done at the office, home or a coffee shop.
In case you absolutely need to hop into a meeting while you're at the wheel, which is hopefully a very rare occasion, the companies claim to offer "best-in-class noise cancellation" thanks to Webex’s audio intelligence tech. Meetings and calls are audio-only unless you're parked, in which case you'll have access to video meetings, AI-powered transcription, content sharing functions and emoji reactions. There'll be a Webex app in the Mercedes Benz Car App Store, while the built-in WiFi and cellular data connection mean you don't need your phone at all to hop into a meeting. At least for someone, I'm sure that's the embodiment of living the dream.
In fairness, there are some use cases where Webex in a car may make sense. Mercedes and Cisco suggested that an architect might need to check in with their colleagues immediately after leaving a work site, while someone might have to jump into a meeting right after dropping off the kids at school. Conference calls certainly happen in cars.
This isn't exactly the first time that a meeting app has invaded cars. Webex already supports CarPlay, as does Microsoft Teams. Webex is available in some Ford models too. If you truly do want to experience Webex meetings at the wheel of a 2023 E-Class, you may be pleased to learn that you'll get the chance when the sedans hit dealerships in the spring.