Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a key prerequisite for the future topics connectivity, autonomous driving, shared, and electric drivetrain. With the new test facility, Mercedes-Benz takes an important step as a pioneer in the digitisation of the automotive industry. The new reverberation chamber makes efficient and comprehensive EMC measurements possible. New measuring methods allow vehicle antennas to be measured quickly and realistically. The complex simulation of the global mobile communication services in the new antenna testing hall makes system development in terms of maximum data protection possible. Daimler invested about 50 million euros in the new building at the Mercedes Benz Technology Centre (MTC) in Sindelfingen.

In the presence of Thomas Strobl, Deputy Minister-President and Minister of the interior, Digitalisation and Migration in Baden-Württemberg, Daimler today inaugurated a new test facility for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radio-frequency (RF) antenna systems. The measurements taken there contribute to
– Electromagnetic fields of vehicles not interfering with other receiver systems – including those in the own vehicle,
– Minimising the exposure of the passengers in the vehicle interior,
– The vehicle functions not being impaired by external (electromagnetic) fields and
– Maximising the reception quality and performance of the antennas.

The test facility at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Centre (MTC) is one of the most advanced in the automotive industry. It sets standards for the comprehensive protection of the vehicles with new measuring and testing methods, which were developed together with the Technical University Ilmenau (Thuringia), the TU München and others.

The investment amounts to about 50 million euros. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Thomas Strobl and a host of guests from politics, business and administration, among them Roland Bernhard (District Administrator of the District Council of Böblingen) and Dr. Bernd Vöhringer (Mayor of the City of Sindelfingen).

In his welcoming address, Deputy Minister-President Strobl said: “The Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, with its more than 100-year of history, is one of the vehicle plants richest in tradition in Germany. At this place, you can feel that the future of the automobile and the future of Baden-Württemberg are closely linked. Through digitization, huge transformations are taking place in the economy and society, that are more than just another episode in the history of technological progress. The car is just being reinvented: the auto-automobile. And now, it is the time to develop the right agenda in order to remain the internationally leading automotive location in the future as well. And I am not worried at all. Because, Baden-Württemberg is still a hub for innovation and, not least, the opening of this new building for electromagnetic compatibility and high-frequency technology proves this.”

“We are a pioneer in the digitisation of the automotive industry. The new test facility for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and antennas is an important step to ensure we remain a pioneer”, says Sajjad Khan, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for CASE. “Because all four CASE fields of our corporate strategy – connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric powertrains (Electric) – require the transmission of data. In physical terms, all these data streams use electromagnetic waves as a means of transport“.

A Mercedes-Benz passenger car can have more than 200 control units; an S-Class vehicle has over five kilometres of wires. On one hand, the electromagnetic compatibility therefore must ensure that the electronics installed in the vehicle do not cause any interference that could disturb other vehicles or devices. On the other, there are a myriad of electromagnetic waves that reach a vehicle from the outside. The cars therefore must be designed in a way that ensures that their electronics along with particularly important functions such as engine control and driving assistance systems are not impaired.

For this reason, a vehicle from Mercedes-Benz undergoes many EMC tests before it gets an approval. The day-to-day operations with such tests in the EMC facility will start at this central location already tomorrow.