Faurecia, a global automotive supplier and subsidiary of the FORVIA Group, has announced a new partnership with the Mercedes-Benz Group centred around in-vehicle apps.

From 2023, the long-term collaboration will see the supplier integrate its dedicated automotive app platform, jointly developed with Aptoide, into MBUX – Mercedes-Benz’s proprietary infotainment system. Through this integration, users will be provided with an independent app store offering more than 250 dedicated automotive apps spanning navigation, traffic, media streaming and in-vehicle payment as well as parking and charging information.

While the platform is based on Google’s Android software, it operates as an independent, open-source, version of Android Automotive. The supplier says that this independency works to support heightened security and privacy practices while enhancing the control OEMs have over their content offerings. Here, the Aptoide app store replaces Google’s Play Store, and the OEM can request the user to log in to their account with its own connectivity and infotainment program as opposed to their Google account, the default for Android Automotive.

Through its updatable functionality, Faurecia’s app platform is able to refresh its portfolio of apps several times per year – allowing OEMs to provide new content and services to their customers more quickly. This, in turn, will allow Mercedes-Benz to extend the lifetime of its vehicles by ensuring that its suite of available infotainment apps is up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies.

The announcement of this partnership follows Faurecia setting up similar partnerships with OEMs around Europe, including the Volkswagen Group and BMW, focused on its customizable automotive app platform. In January it estimated that three million vehicles globally have already adopted the platform, with more to be activated through these new partnerships.