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Android Auto in 2016 W212

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Android Auto in 2016 W212

 
Old 12-12-2018, 05:19 PM
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I'm very interested in making this happen for my 2016... definitely keep us posted on how this ultimately works over time!

It's funny because I asked my dealer about Apple Carplay and it's potential availability for the 2016's as I had heard that some had it and some didn't when I was doing my initial research on which car I wanted to buy and he sort of alluded to the fact that there would be some type of update or module that would be coming down the line.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BigRob_NH View Post
Interesting. Reading through threads like this I thought that it could be enabled in an Engineering menu and that you could (possibly) ask your SA/Service Department to do this for you. Did you ask and they refused? Would be nice to be able to enable this without resorting to these ODB2 devices of unknown provenance (I too have a 2016 E400 Sedan).
Following is a compilation of the research I’ve done on this to work within the MB dealership network to have this done. Anyone please correct anything I misstate here.

What we know… The 2016 E-Class COUPE and CLS came standard with Android Auto (and Apple Car Play). The option is not available for the Sedan, due to a corporate decision by MB (reason unknown). That said, MB issued a promotional notice in late 2015 offering the functionality for 207's(E coupe/cab) as a retrofit …

Download that notice from here. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...nC60FDfsDsmzhd

Subsequently, a handful of 2016 SEDAN owners have been successful in adding AA/ACP to their sedans (even though the document does not include the sedan). In all cases, this has been done by owners who have secret sauce access to MB systems (they’re either MB service Techs, or friends with one).

My understanding is this will work with the latest firmware on the HU5S1 Head Unit (NTG5*1). Or is it Code 531 Comand APS NTG5/NTG5.5? Dunno.

The process appears to have three steps (once you find a dealership agreeable to doing the work for you):

1) Build codes need to be activated/documented by Mercedes, via the re-documentation software (XSF), to retrofit the following build codes needed to your VIN card:
14U Smartphone Integration Package
16U Smartphone Integration Carplay
17U Smartphone Integration Google Automotive Link
This is per document AZ82.60-P-0028NKA (noted in the pdf document downlink above).

2) Get the COMAND firmware updated to (High_CY15_9) or later? Some have said here that you need to coax the dealer to do this with a complaint about intermittent problems with the system)

3) Have the Comand software re-coded after the re-documentation process. If the dealer will not agree to do this last part, I think you can then acquire the aftermarket tool mentioned above and do it yourself. Opinions vary whether you need to replace the bottom USB port in the console… People have told me this is not necessary.

I have not done any of this to my car, yet, as it is still within its factory warranty. I’m thinking of trying this once the warranty expires if this is what the dealer needs to cover his backside. If MBUSA were smart, they would offer this as a dealership upgrade for those cars that qualify (1-2 hours service charge). They leave money on the table otherwise.

Meanwhile, If anyone has any feedback on this or has tried this themselves, please share your results.

Last edited by DFWdude; 12-12-2018 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:53 AM
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Great summary, thanks for contributing this.

I can see that I have: 531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5 on my data card so that is a start.

Too bad they have such great features disabled but I suppose it makes it easier for them to sell navigation updates.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BigRob_NH View Post
Great summary, thanks for contributing this.

I can see that I have: 531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5 on my data card so that is a start.
That's what my data card says too. So, if I understand correctly, that is the right "platform" in terms of hardware. The question is whether it has the latest update (firmware or software) to support the apps.

Originally Posted by BigRob_NH View Post
Too bad they have such great features disabled but I suppose it makes it easier for them to sell navigation updates.
There is lead time needed to develop all these electronic wizards. I'm guessing that our 2016 cars had their Comand systems designed by early 2014.

Android Auto and Apple Car Play were relatively new at the time. So to be fair, I don't think Mercedes-Benz "disabled" anything, because AA/ACP were just recently released features in a few other brands. And since the E-Class represents 60% or more of all MB models sold worldwide, high level decisions had to be made to gamble on integrating AA/ACP in all E-Classes. Instead, they chose to include it in the W207 E-Coupe, where Mercedes-Benz could manage the risks among a smaller number of cars should something go wrong.

Where MB is missing the boat is now, since the apps have proven popular, and there is money on the table to be made in offering updates. Of course, all of us with 2016s in the US have the 3-year courtesy Map upgate program in play through the end of 2019, when that program ages away (for 2016s). So they may not see offering the upgrades to AA/ACP as relevant at present, even though charging maybe $200 for the AA/ACP update is money in their pocket, instead of updating Comand Maps 3-4 times at MBUSA/Dealership expense. Who knows how MBUSA thinks.

Last edited by DFWdude; 12-13-2018 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:24 PM
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My understanding is that the redocumentation/activation of the build codes (14U, 16U and 17U) can be done remotely, by anyone with access to (and working knowledge of) the MB XSF system. All they should need is your VIN. (your car need not be present).

Wish we could find an MB tech here who could do a couple of these to see how easy it is.

With the codes updated to the build sheet, maybe it will be easier to convince a local dealer to do the rest?

Last edited by DFWdude; 12-14-2018 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:47 PM
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It is interesting that these ODB Dongles can take care of all of these coding steps. All you need is the software update first.

I'm not bold enough to go that route though with my car still well under warranty.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:52 PM
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Adding a data point: wagon

Originally Posted by BigRob_NH View Post
Great summary, thanks for contributing this.

I can see that I have: 531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5 on my data card so that is a start.

Too bad they have such great features disabled but I suppose it makes it easier for them to sell navigation updates.
I've only seen coupes and sedans mentioned in this thread. I have a 2016 E350 wagon with a 4/15 build date (although the VIN plate in the door jamb reads 12/15). The data card also includes 531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5 as well as 3U2 HEAD UNIT AMERICA. I've not attempted to activate Android Auto yet, nor have I mentioned it to my service rep at the dealer. Not sure if I'll try if doing so voids my warranty.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by crater64 View Post
I've only seen coupes and sedans mentioned in this thread. I have a 2016 E350 wagon with a 4/15 build date (although the VIN plate in the door jamb reads 12/15). The data card also includes 531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5 as well as 3U2 HEAD UNIT AMERICA. I've not attempted to activate Android Auto yet, nor have I mentioned it to my service rep at the dealer. Not sure if I'll try if doing so voids my warranty.
You have the prerequisite hardware and it wouldn't void your warranty if they enabled it. Hopefully they won't give you a hard time about enabling it though.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:13 PM
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That is not the prerequisite hardware. It requires COMAND APS NTG5.1 and the HU5S1 head unit.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
That is not the prerequisite hardware. It requires COMAND APS NTG5.1 and the HU5S1 head unit.
You sure about that? Thought any 5.x in a 2016 MY was eligible. Doubt they changed the hardware halfway through, the number likely just denotes the base software image.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
That is not the prerequisite hardware. It requires COMAND APS NTG5.1 and the HU5S1 head unit.
And yet there are a handful of people here who have installed AA/ACP on these exact systems (531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5 as well as 3U2 HEAD UNIT AMERICA)

I believe NTG5.1 falls withing the range NTG5/NTG5.5.

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Old 01-31-2019, 07:13 PM
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None that I have seen (either in this forum or in any other that I am aware of), and certainly not in any 2015 builds. NTG5.1 is newer and does not "fall within the range NTG5/NTG5.5" although I have seen this misinformation repeated several times. That being said, I would love to be proven wrong!

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Old 01-31-2019, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
None that I have seen (either in this forum or in any other that I am aware of), and certainly not in any 2015 builds. NTG5.1 is newer and does not "fall within the range NTG5/NTG5.5" although I have seen this misinformation repeated several times. That being said, I would love to be proven wrong!
This thread is NOT about 2015 cars, only MY2016 cars, many built in 2015...

Member SlvrArrow87 has his 2016 E-Class operating with AA/ACP based on its July 27, 2015 build date with the specs I've quoted as a basis. His dealer modified system (because he works at a dealer) was done by him using the steps detailled in Post #27 above. He has all the functionality (including voice control) of AA/ACP except for touch screen (use the controller instead, no biggie).

Do some searching and you may well love to be proven wrong.

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Old 02-01-2019, 07:43 AM
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I'm only talking about MY2016, but the issue is with 2015 builds. As far as I can see, SlvrArrow87 has never posted specs. I can't tell what year build, what version COMAND APS or which head unit. Those facts are absent. Did you private message to get those specs? My research tells me that the steps you outline in post #27 only apply to COMAND APS NTG5.1 and head unit HU5S1. Most importantly, NTG5.1 is not the same as NTG5/NTG5.5 and is not encompassed by it. NTG5.1 is newer than NTG5/NTG5.5. NTG5.1 enables AA/ACP.

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Old 02-01-2019, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
Did you private message to get those specs? My research tells me that the steps you outline in post #27 only apply to COMAND APS NTG5.1 and head unit HU5S1.
Yup...What I have not been able to clarify is whether Steps 2-3 (post #27) result in Comand APS NTG5.1, or not. I would like to confirm this, somehow.

See post #20... fleeno has an April, 2015 build... upgraded to ACP (can't tell if he has Android Auto, too). He used the aftermarket dongle to get there, but first, had his dealer update his Comand to the latest software version (5.1, or High_CY15_9, or 2016.09+...or are they all the same? That is the question)

It's obvious to me that one does not need head unit HU5S1. In sum, if you and fleeno have cars built in April, 2105, with Comand panel as visually described by fleeno, you can bet your boots you have identical baseline hardware and software. My car was built in July, 2015 with the same specs.

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Old 02-01-2019, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
I'm only talking about MY2016, but the issue is with 2015 builds. As far as I can see, SlvrArrow87 has never posted specs. I can't tell what year build, what version COMAND APS or which head unit. Those facts are absent. Did you private message to get those specs? My research tells me that the steps you outline in post #27 only apply to COMAND APS NTG5.1 and head unit HU5S1. Most importantly, NTG5.1 is not the same as NTG5/NTG5.5 and is not encompassed by it. NTG5.1 is newer than NTG5/NTG5.5. NTG5.1 enables AA/ACP.
Good luck finding a MY16 car that is NOT built in 2015. I know because I've been reading MB datacards like mad in my hunt for a new E400. I haven't found a single MY16 that was actually manufactured in 2016.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:45 PM
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Not sure what your problem is (or why you insist on thanking yourself for each of your posts). I'm neither looking for a MY16 built in '16 nor wishing to argue about this. Like you I simply want to enable AA in my early 2015 built MY16 E-class sedan. NTG5.1 was not available in our cars until the 12/2015 builds. Is it possible to easily upgrade from NTG5/NTG5.5 to NTG5.1 without a hardware upgrade? I guess you have the same question. I have not yet seen confirmation of that anywhere. There is anecdotal evidence, as you've referenced, that it may be possible (but confirming facts are curiously absent). My question then is why wouldn't every MB dealer offer this option up front? It's a no-brainer money maker. It would put the dongle manufacturers out of business. Nobody would be swapping in kludgy Chinese head units to achieve AA/ACP. It doesn't pass the smell test. Yet, I'm here hoping for an affirmative answer.

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Old 02-01-2019, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
Not sure what your problem is (or why you insist on thanking yourself for each of your posts). I'm neither looking for a MY16 built in '16 nor wishing to argue about this. Like you I simply want to enable AA in my early 2015 built MY16 E-class sedan. NTG5.1 was not available in our cars until the 12/2015 builds. Is it possible to easily upgrade from NTG5/NTG5.5 to NTG5.1 without a hardware upgrade? I guess you have the same question. I have not yet seen confirmation of that anywhere. There is anecdotal evidence, as you've referenced, that it may be possible (but confirming facts are curiously absent). My question then is why wouldn't every MB dealer offer this option up front? It's a no-brainer money maker. It would put the dongle manufacturers out of business. Nobody would be swapping in kludgy Chinese head units to achieve AA/ACP. It doesn't pass the smell test. Yet, I'm here hoping for an affirmative answer.
You realize you're talking to several different people here, right? No one is adding thanks to their own posts, there's multiple people responding. There's no such thing as a 12/2015 build of a MY2016, by that point they were building W213s. You seem to think this is a conspiracy against you, and I'm going to simply stop respondong because you're either too obtuse or being intentionally crazy, Good luck on your AA quest and I wish your dealer much patience.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:16 AM
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Sorry, I just realized I was talking to the tag-team brothers. So, your post was useless (though I'm sure you'll be thanked by DFWdude!). I just want to be able to activate AA if it is possible. I didn't realize that I had to make it through the misinformation brothers first. If you want to be helpful, just stick with the facts.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
Sorry, I just realized I was talking to the tag-team brothers. So, your post was useless (though I'm sure you'll be thanked by DFWdude!). I just want to be able to activate AA if it is possible. I didn't realize that I had to make it through the misinformation brothers first. If you want to be helpful, just stick with the facts.
And this post is "useful?" And this post "sticks with the facts?" And this post is "on-topic?"

MarcF, as a newbie here, you probably don't realize that your posts stifle constructive conversation more than add useful information, including facts. Please re-read this thread from start to finish, and you will realize that your fixed opinions are not justified, and that you have all the information you need (from others with builds exactly the same as yours who have been successful) to approach your dealer with your request.

Instead of arguing here, I have reached out to others in PM to clarify terms to clear up the results of the upgrade process. Stay tuned. But meantime, stop the negative, off-topic bantering, lest these posts be reported to the moderators.

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Old 02-02-2019, 09:07 AM
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You have to admit that there is quite a bit of ambiguity about what configuration can work. And, the posts where success is claimed lack critical information. It would have helped if you had revealed that you received additional insight by PM. Then it wouldn't have appeared that you pulled it out of thin air. Other than that you have been very helpful here. The only question that I have about your more informative posts is why are you and others concerned about voiding the warranty? If you are correct, then there are no hardware changes necessary and MB has to be in the loop to effect the update. I don't understand why you are waiting. Your success would probably close out this thread and you'd be the hero.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
You have to admit that there is quite a bit of ambiguity about what configuration can work. And, the posts where success is claimed lack critical information. It would have helped if you had revealed that you received additional insight by PM. Then it wouldn't have appeared that you pulled it out of thin air. Other than that you have been very helpful here. The only question that I have about your more informative posts is why are you and others concerned about voiding the warranty? If you are correct, then there are no hardware changes necessary and MB has to be in the loop to effect the update. I don't understand why you are waiting. Your success would probably close out this thread and you'd be the hero.
About warranties, I am more concerned about voiding the overall warranty that applies to important things, like engine, suspension, brakes, air conditioning. Make unauthorized changes in the electronics and the dealer could void the overall warranty.

That said, I sent a couple PMs this morning, hopefully to clarify the ambiguity in terms and processes. I will summarize results when I have them to report..
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:58 PM
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I am not sure if this helps this thread regarding the install of AA/ACP but it is from my MB Service adviser - keep in mind I did not specifically ask him about installing AA/ACP (I wanted to keep it general) in order to execute what is mentioned in post #20:

...The first step is to get the dealer to update your COMAND firmware to the latest version. I was actually having mbrace and bluetooth issues, so they upgraded me which also seemed to fix those. You can tell if you have the newer version by pressing and holding the red hang up button, then press and hold 7 and 9 to enter the dealer diagnostic screen. If you're up to date, there should be a "Ringtone volume for CarPlay" menu item on the second page.:

I had requested my service advisor the following specifically the upgrade of the COMMAND firmware during my next appointment as I am not seeing "Ringtone volume for CarPlay" menu item on the second page":

"I was wondering if there is an update for the COMAND firmware to the latest version that I can get when I come in next for my service appointment? I am not sure which version I have but I would need the latest. Would you happen to know what the latest firmware version is?"

To which his reply was:

"We cannot update software unless there is an issue (sometimes an update can actually cause issues). Fyi updating the command will not update the maps. Sorry I don’t know what the latest is. Its vin specific and obtained when we scan the car."
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fleeno View Post
I'm going to answer my own question here... I now have CarPlay working in my 2016 E350, as seen in the image below!

So if you have a new enough E350, you should be able to do this. Mine was built in 4/2015, and as you can see has the newer audio unit with the "clear" and "eject" buttons in the center, not at the edges.

The first step is to get the dealer to update your COMAND firmware to the latest version. I was actually having mbrace and bluetooth issues, so they upgraded me which also seemed to fix those. You can tell if you have the newer version by pressing and holding the red hang up button, then press and hold 7 and 9 to enter the dealer diagnostic screen. If you're up to date, there should be a "Ringtone volume for CarPlay" menu item on the second page.

Next I ordered one of those OBDII CarPlay activators from eBay. I plugged that in, it activated, and it works!

Note I did NOT have to replace the center console USB ports. There is a replacement part for them as part of an official MB CarPlay upgrade kit, but I'm betting the only difference is the phone icon on the USB port.

The integration is pretty nice, and I was a bit curious how it works without a touchscreen. The answer is very well! When connected, your favorites button takes you back to your home screen, and the knob moves to each item you can "click" on. Also, your navi, tel, and media buttons will now go to CarPlay options. Only the Radio button will show an MB screen.

One note, with the latest COMAND update, you can press and hold the voice button on the steering wheel to activate Siri, if without having CarPlay enabled. I had tried that before, and it didn't work, so I assume that was part of the update.



I got the dealer to update the software, I confirmed that I have that new version by checking the dealer settings and confirmed that I have the “volume for CarPlay” option enabled.

I then bought a OBD2 dongle via eBay, I started the car and then plugged in the OBD device. The COMAND displayed “Diagnosis” in the upper left hand corner. The system then restarted but afterwards didn’t activate anything. I’m beyond disappointed. I didn’t update the USB in the center console.

Did i I miss a step? Is there something else that needs to be done?
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:07 PM
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Does anyone know the difference between the 3U2 and HU5S1 head units? Either one or the other was installed in 2016 W212's. It seems that AA/ACP can only be enabled on the HU5S1 installations. Is there any direct evidence that they can be enabled on 3U2 units? I know that DFWdude and DubVBenz claim that it works with 3U2 units, but nobody has been able to verify that.
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