Mercedes accelerates in-house software push with new tech center

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz Friday opened a new 200 million euro ($217 million) software center in Sindelfingen, the latest investment in boosting in-house software capabilities as it works to bring its own MB.OS to market operating system by 2024.

About 750 of the 3,000 new employees the luxury car maker plans to bring in worldwide to develop the operating system were hired in Sindelfingen, where they worked on functions from in-vehicle entertainment to autonomous driving.

The center is part of a broader effort by Mercedes-Benz to streamline its software strategy from a patchwork approach that brings in technology from a wide range of suppliers, to self-managing the core software offerings.

“We take responsibility for software architecture and integration – that’s our main goal,” Chief Software Officer Magnus Oestberg said during a roundtable discussion.

“We don’t do everything ourselves – we value partnerships, but of course we do the parts that are most important to us in-house.”

One such collaboration is with US computer graphics specialist Nvidia, with whom Mercedes-Benz signed a deal in 2020 to develop assisted and self-driving features that will be part of the MB.OS system to be launched in two years. .

The automaker is 600 open job openings from achieving its goal of a global team of 10,000 software engineers based in Berlin, China, India, Israel, Japan and the United States.

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“The profile of a software engineer is highly sought after – demand significantly exceeds supply,” said Chief Technology Officer Markus Schaefer.

In a survey of 572 automotive executives by research institute Capgemini, 97% said four out of 10 in-house employees should have software skills within five years, from IT architects to cloud management professionals to cybersecurity experts.

($1 = 0.9204 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Ilona Wissenbach; editing by Maria Sheahan)