Samsung SmartThings and Mercedes-Benz Integrate Smart Homes and Connected Cars


Your Mercedes will soon be able to turn off your home light thanks to a new partnership between Samsung-owned SmartThings and Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes S-Class owners will now be able to control their Samsung SmartThings powered smart home gadgets while they are driving. How will this partnership transform the IoT landscape?

Imagine keeping a soothing ambiance ready at home while you are still driving. Well, a decade ago, this would have seemed unimaginable, but not in today’s hyperconnected world. IoT technology has redefined the future of smart homes. Today, interconnectivity between connected cars and smart homes can significantly enhance a consumer’s lifestyle.

According to a Parks Associates survey, almost 40% of smart homeownersOpens a new window want to link their car with their home service. Consumers want seamless integration of intelligent devices and value interoperability. Understanding consumers’ pulse and the booming smart automation popularity, automakers and tech companies are always innovating to capitalize on the hyperconnected revolution. 

On October 27, 2020, Samsung and Mercedes-Benz announced a new partnership to help connected car owners control their smart homes while they are driving. Samsung SmartThings platform will be integrated into the Mercedes-Benz user experience (MBUX) voice assistant to let drivers connect and control their SmartThings-powered smart gadgets remotely. This feature will be available in S-Class vehicles at the start of 2021.

Ralf Elias, global vice president, IoT & business development at SmartThings, saidOpens a new window , “SmartThings is focused on accelerating the creation of an open IoT ecosystem powered by its technology and is continuously innovating to connect all smart devices with one another. Powering car-to-home and home-to-car capabilities is the next logical step in that journey, and we’re thrilled to bring SmartThings to an important environment where people spend a lot of their time – their Mercedes-Benz.”

Also Read: Elon Musk Rolls Out Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta, Experts Sound Caution

The World of Interoperability

Since there is a growing demand for interoperability, where smart devices can communicate easily with other smart devices, SmartThings and Mercedes aim to directly connect homes and cars without a smartphone. The MBUX voice assistant lets users control SmartThings-powered gadgets such as lights, thermostats, locks, garage doors, home security systems, and sensors. Interestingly, users can even ask questions such as “Hey, Mercedes, did I leave the lights on at home?” or “Hey, Mercedes, is anyone home?” 

Without the intervention of a smartphone, the MBUX voice assistant enables drivers to only focus on driving, minimizing distraction and road accidents. Moreover, apart from drivers, even passengers can leverage the voice assistant to remotely connect and control their smart home. Before this, in 2016, SmartThings partneredOpens a new window with BMW to control smart homes through the SmartThings app. In 2016, connected car startup Evolved Vehicle Environments (EVE), and Tesla partneredOpens a new window to monitor smart home devices through EveConnect. In the same year, Volkswagen and LG collaboratedOpens a new window to link connected cars with smart homes.

Canada-based IoT company Mercku’s team outlines how smart homes and connected cars deliver unparalleled convenience. The company saidOpens a new window , “Smart homes and smart cars will synchronize to increase the end user’s quality of life by adding additional layers of security and convenience. Collaboration opportunities will increase further, powered by all the new capabilities of both our homes and our cars. They can be truly connected, helping to save time, save resources, provide more convenience, and a customized experience.”

Also Read: Microsoft Doles Out $374K for Azure Sphere IoT Bug Hunting

Connected Cars and Cybersecurity Concerns 

Despite the various promises made by companies, the burning question about this innovation is— are connected cars safe? Connected vehicles are vulnerable to car hacking, and sophisticated hackers can remotely control the car and disable features or kill car engines, compromising the driver’s personal information and causing a serious threat to life. In 2019, a group of Chinese hackers compromisedOpens a new window Tesla’s Model S autopilot self-driving software into deviating into an oncoming traffic lane. In 2015, two researchers remotely hacked and killed the car engineOpens a new window of a Jeep on the highway.

Such life-threatening cyberattacks prompt automakers and tech companies to create security-critical systems that protect connected cars and smart homes from vulnerabilities. Andrew Till, an experienced industry executive, saidOpens a new window , “Automotive cybersecurity has, until now, been largely viewed as a “bolt-on” solution to existing hardware and software platforms. This will need to change – to a situation where security becomes a central part of the automotive design process, for both hardware and software. 

“Another core change will be the move away from viewing security as a set of isolated solutions, to it being an end-to-end chain of trust that spans the vehicle, devices bought into the vehicle, the cloud, and any third-party services that are delivered into the vehicle.”

Integrating connected cars and smart homes is predicted to be the next wave of innovation. With automakers and tech companies heavily investing in this new revolution, it won’t be long before every device around us can seamlessly communicate with each other and make human life even simpler and more sophisticated. However, OEMs must prioritize security and build cyber-resilient connected cars that can be linked with smart homes seamlessly.

What are your thoughts on the interoperability between connected cars and smart homes? Comment below or let us know on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!