News: Mercedes to launch seat warming app

Toast your car seats from the comfort of your bed

IF THE thought of your car’s icy cabin is keeping you in bed every morning, you’re about to run out of excuses for not getting up. Mercedes-Benz will allow drivers to pre-heat their seats when the C-class saloon is launched this year.

Owners will be able to reach for their smartphone while still snug under the duvet and transmit a message to the car, over the mobile phone network, to begin warming the seats. By the time they have finished their coffee, the cabin should offer a toasty welcome for their backsides.

The app will also be able to switch on the optional heated steering wheel and rear heated seats, if fitted. If left for too long, they will switch off, to avoid draining the battery.

The C-class goes on sale in September, however, so will offer no respite from this winter. Mercedes is thought to be the first manufacturer to offer such a pre-heat function for a conventionally powered car, although several firms offer the ability to switch on a car’s air conditioning from a smartphone — including BMW and Volvo.

Until now, only electric or plug-in hybrid cars have come with pre-warming functions. These are designed to operate while the car is plugged in to the domestic electricity supply.