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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 08-08-2018, 06:47 AM
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Android Auto in 2016 W212

Hello,

I'm considering buying a 2016 E350. Vin is WDDHF8JB0GB214653 may 2015 build. I've searched the forums at length and it seems that there is conflicting information . What is the process of activating Android auto in this vehicle? Do I need to change any hardware? Do I need a unichip? Or do I just need a firmware update? How do I get that update from the dealership, as many I've called just say I cannot add the feature.

Thank you!

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Old 08-10-2018, 07:53 AM
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:02 PM
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With a 2016 myself, I hoped someone would have some information on this. Absent that, I've done a little searching myself...

According to Wikipedia, "Android Auto debuted at Google I/O 2014, and the app was released on 19 March 2015."

Hardly enough time for Mercedes to incorporate in its 2016 production (yours was a May 2015 build, mine was in July). So, it's understandable that it is not available on the car as a factory feature, or option.
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:31 AM
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I have a 2015 and I know I can't .. I mite go unichip route or maybe the 10.25 unit route
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:15 AM
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For 2016 the only practical option is replacing the entire system on the sedan (example: 10” Android unit) or adding an additional component (example: Unichip).

The 2016 Coupe (2-door) did have the newer MB Command NTG 5.1 hardware (with Apple Carplay and Android Auto) available and I’m gonna suspect the confusion results from both the sedan and 2-door using the same model name (E class) despite being built on different platforms.

Last edited by cadetdrivr; 08-12-2018 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:24 PM
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cadetdrivr View Post
For 2016 the only practical option is replacing the entire system on the sedan (example: 10 Android unit) or adding an additional component (example: Unichip).

The 2016 Coupe (2-door) did have the newer MB Command NTG 5.1 hardware (with Apple Carplay and Android Auto) available and Im gonna suspect the confusion results from both the sedan and 2-door using the same model name (E class) despite being built on different platforms.
2016 Sedans came with NTG 5.1 as well. The dealer can activate apple and android is my understanding. Take a look at 2016 cars and it's obvious the COMAND is an entirely new version. Interestingly enough, the final year of the W211 also received a later version of NTG (2.5) than the previous years (v1).
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DubVBenz View Post
2016 Sedans came with NTG 5.1 as well. The dealer can activate apple and android is my understanding. Take a look at 2016 cars and it's obvious the COMAND is an entirely new version. Interestingly enough, the final year of the W211 also received a later version of NTG (2.5) than the previous years (v1).
My 2016 E350's build sheet includes "Code 531 Comand APS NTG5/NTG5.5." Is this specification a "range" (5 to 5.5) and can I then presume that NTG5.1 is within this range?

Last edited by DFWdude; 08-13-2018 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DubVBenz View Post
2016 Sedans came with NTG 5.1 as well. The dealer can activate apple and android is my understanding. Take a look at 2016 cars and it's obvious the COMAND is an entirely new version. Interestingly enough, the final year of the W211 also received a later version of NTG (2.5) than the previous years (v1).
Fantastic, thanks for that. I understood it was just the coupe but obviously I was wrong.

That changes everything. If the dealer is unwilling or unable to "Activate" CarPlay/AndroidAuto on 5.1 there are relatively inexpensive UBD dongles that can do it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:28 PM
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I followed the instructions in this Youtube video, but the "Android Auto" choice does not appear in the Phone rotisserie. I tried both the lower and upper USB port in the console.


Sooooooooo.... I guess I have to have the dealer activate AA, unless it is available to activate in the engineering window?

Those of you who have AA, please tell me if using it detracts from any of the existing Comand functions. In other words, I presume I can go back and forth from Comand NAVI to Android Auto Google Maps, etc. without permanently sacrificing any Comand functions.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DFWdude View Post
Those of you who have AA, please tell me if using it detracts from any of the existing Comand functions. In other words, I presume I can go back and forth from Comand NAVI to Android Auto Google Maps, etc. without permanently sacrificing any Comand functions.
You don't sacrifice any functions permanently but you can't use both at the same time. You'll need to switch between comand or android auto since it basically controls all functions when connected(nav/music/phone/voice control).
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SlvrArrow87 View Post
You don't sacrifice any functions permanently but you can't use both at the same time. You'll need to switch between comand or android auto since it basically controls all functions when connected(nav/music/phone/voice control).
That makes sense, just asking to be sure.

I notice you have a 2016 E too... Is Android Auto available in your car, and if so, how did you have it added? Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DFWdude View Post
That makes sense, just asking to be sure.

I notice you have a 2016 E too... Is Android Auto available in your car, and if so, how did you have it added? Thanks.
"Available" isn't the way I'd put it, haha. Through forum research I've found 2016 coupes and convertibles can have it activated per MB but some sedans in mid to late 16 have the capability too, although MB doesn't officially support it. This depends on the vehicle build date, hardware and software version of the comand too. I've seen people buy activators on ebay and such that work but being a tech I decided to give it a try before buying anything. Following the retrofit document for the 207's(E coupe/cab) I activated it in my car and it worked which was surprising. The vehicle option codes need to be added on the Benz side then flash and SCN code the comand systems. Benz says you need a new usb module but mine happened to work in slot 2 with my stock S8 usb cable. That being said I have no way of knowing what cars this works on for sure nor how as a customer you'd get a dealer to try something not MB official. It may be more cost effective to try an aftermarket solution.

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Old 10-30-2018, 04:13 AM
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W212 Android Auto / Carplay / Mirrorlink
If you have a W212 2016 with COMAND, you can get Android Auto / Carplay / Mirrorlink, although for commercial reasons, MB do not officially support the option for the W212, and it may invalidate your warranty.

I have a 2016 E300 (W212) Face Lift, Built March 2015, with HU5S1 Head Unit.
What I did:
0. This only works with the HU5S1 Head Unit.
1. Update firmware to High_CY15_9
(The dealer has to be coaxed to do this with a complaint about intermittent problems with the system)
2. Change the "Connection Unit" which is the USB socket in the centre console to Part # A 172 820 20 00 (which has the phone & tablet logo on USB 2)
3. Get the Crux CAPMB-51 (or any similar Apple CarPlay and Android Auto activation tool for Mercedes Benz NTG5S1) which will activate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirrorlink through the ODBII port. This is the easy way in case you do not have access to Vediamo, Star Diagnostics etc., and your MB dealer is not helpful (like mine).

Note: The Crux CAPMB-51 stores your car VIN, when used the first time and cannot be used with any other car after that. If used a second time on the same car, it will deactivate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirrorlink. If used a third time it is supposed to reactivate the three, but I had trouble with this reactivation, and it took about 5 tries before it was successful.

I use Android Auto a lot. I do not use the Apple ecosystem, and so have not as yet tried CarPlay, (or Mirrorlink).
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dJCG View Post
W212 Android Auto / Carplay / Mirrorlink
If you have a W212 2016 with COMAND, you can get Android Auto / Carplay / Mirrorlink, although for commercial reasons, MB do not officially support the option for the W212, and it may invalidate your warranty.

I have a 2016 E300 (W212) Face Lift, Built March 2015, with HU5S1 Head Unit.
What I did:
0. This only works with the HU5S1 Head Unit.
1. Update firmware to High_CY15_9
(The dealer has to be coaxed to do this with a complaint about intermittent problems with the system)
2. Change the "Connection Unit" which is the USB socket in the centre console to Part # A 172 820 20 00 (which has the phone & tablet logo on USB 2)
3. Get the Crux CAPMB-51 (or any similar Apple CarPlay and Android Auto activation tool for Mercedes Benz NTG5S1) which will activate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirrorlink through the ODBII port. This is the easy way in case you do not have access to Vediamo, Star Diagnostics etc., and your MB dealer is not helpful (like mine).

Note: The Crux CAPMB-51 stores your car VIN, when used the first time and cannot be used with any other car after that. If used a second time on the same car, it will deactivate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirrorlink. If used a third time it is supposed to reactivate the three, but I had trouble with this reactivation, and it took about 5 tries before it was successful.

I use Android Auto a lot. I do not use the Apple ecosystem, and so have not as yet tried CarPlay, (or Mirrorlink).
Sneaking up to this carefully and slowly, my question is... Is there a way for an average Joe to query his car (via Engineering mode or other) to determine:

1) whether I have a "HU5S1 Head Unit" Is it easy enough to look at the car's build code? (My build sheet says I have code "531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5")
2) whether it currently has firmware set to "High_CY15_9" (I just had maps updated to the 2019 dataset, so don't know if it included the firmware update)

If I can determine whether either or both of these conditions are satisfied, then I will know what I'm dealing with and where to start. Thanks in advance.

My car was built July 21, 2015.

Last edited by DFWdude; 10-30-2018 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:08 AM
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It looks like the Crux's ACPMB-78Z (https://www.cruxinterfacing.com/list...-78z/#features ) is designed for the NTG5/NTG5.5. They claim it is applicable to the 2015-16 W212. I have the 3U2 head unit on my early 2015 built 2016 E250. Does anyone have any experience with this Crux product?
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DFWdude View Post
Sneaking up to this carefully and slowly, my question is... Is there a way for an average Joe to query his car (via Engineering mode or other) to determine:

1) whether I have a "HU5S1 Head Unit" Is it easy enough to look at the car's build code? (My build sheet says I have code "531 COMAND APS NTG5/NTG5.5")
2) whether it currently has firmware set to "High_CY15_9" (I just had maps updated to the 2019 dataset, so don't know if it included the firmware update)

If I can determine whether either or both of these conditions are satisfied, then I will know what I'm dealing with and where to start. Thanks in advance.

My car was built July 21, 2015.

I don't think you can enter engineering mode on HU5S1 without Star Diagnostics. Considering my car was built March 2015, and yours was July 2015, you should have HU5S1.

Regarding the firmware, it is probably not "High_CY15_9" unless you have had a firmware update after getting the car. (This is quite different from a map update). Dealer should be able to check firmware version and give you an update if required.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SlvrArrow87 View Post
You don't sacrifice any functions permanently but you can't use both at the same time. You'll need to switch between comand or android auto since it basically controls all functions when connected(nav/music/phone/voice control).
In my experience, you cannot use Comand Navigation while Android Auto is connected. Even if you switch back to MB Comand and then press the Navigation button on the dashboard, the display reverts to Android Auto navigation. You have to disconnect the Android Auto device in order to switch back to Comand Navigation.

You can use MB Comand for the radio. The Car setting menu, with time, 360 Camera (if installed), etc is also accessable, directly by a long press on the Car button on the dashboard.

Also, while Android Auto is active (connected on USB 2), any device on USB 1 is not accessable. Selecting "Media" defaults to the Android Auto device (USB 2).

Last edited by dJCG; 11-03-2018 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:50 AM
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I have a 2016 E350 sedan, built in April 2015, and am trying to do what you did!

I first asked this eBay seller if he thought his ODB2 plug would work on mine, and he said it would if the diagnostic screen had an option that says "Jump to RUI Activation," as seen in one of the images on his listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/302806854556?ul_noapp=true

Mine did not have that option, but I did get the dealer to do a firmware update. After that, I still don't have that option, but I now have a "CarPlay Volume" option that wasn't there before.

Do you happen to know if yours ever had that RUI Activation option? In his screenshot the display looks quite different than mine, as it has a white background not a black background.

I'm curious if I could just give that ODB2 plug a try, now that my diagnostic screen does mention CarPlay. Though I'm not sure if that would damage anything or just not work.

I'm also wondering about the USB socket change. Do you know if that was really needed? I've seen others say it worked fine with the existing USB sockets.

Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:49 PM
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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.






Originally Posted by fleeno View Post
I have a 2016 E350 sedan, built in April 2015, and am trying to do what you did!

I first asked this eBay seller if he thought his ODB2 plug would work on mine, and he said it would if the diagnostic screen had an option that says "Jump to RUI Activation," as seen in one of the images on his listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/302806854556?ul_noapp=true

Mine did not have that option, but I did get the dealer to do a firmware update. After that, I still don't have that option, but I now have a "CarPlay Volume" option that wasn't there before.

Do you happen to know if yours ever had that RUI Activation option? In his screenshot the display looks quite different than mine, as it has a white background not a black background.

I'm curious if I could just give that ODB2 plug a try, now that my diagnostic screen does mention CarPlay. Though I'm not sure if that would damage anything or just not work.

I'm also wondering about the USB socket change. Do you know if that was really needed? I've seen others say it worked fine with the existing USB sockets.

Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:06 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.


That's great and thank you for providing the details. Any chance you can get someone to test with their Android to see what integrations work there? Also, what's the model number of the ebay plug you bought?
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DubVBenz View Post
That's great and thank you for providing the details. Any chance you can get someone to test with their Android to see what integrations work there? Also, what's the model number of the ebay plug you bought?
I'll see if I can find someone with an Android, though I don't know anyone off the top of my head! Android Auto does appear as an option alongside CarPlay though, so I imagine it works!

Here's the plug I ordered: https://www.ebay.com/itm/262451909947?ul_noapp=true
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:19 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 have a 2016 E250 sedan built in April 2015. I have Command APS NTG5/NTG5.5 with the 3U2 Head Unit. I don't think that what you did will work with my combination. It looks like the OBD2 plug that you bought will only work with NTG5.1 and the HU5S1. Please confirm that you have the latter combination.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcF View Post
I have a 2016 E250 sedan built in April 2015. I have Command APS NTG5/NTG5.5 with the 3U2 Head Unit. I don't think that what you did will work with my combination. It looks like the OBD2 plug that you bought will only work with NTG5.1 and the HU5S1. Please confirm that you have the latter combination.
I dont really know for sure, but the seller of that OBD plug can probably help. He checked my VIN and confirmed mine was the right model.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:12 PM
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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).
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