Mercedes-Benz says its workers in Seattle will focus on the cloud- computing services that manage and analyze the data generated from internet-connected vehicles.

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The research and development unit of Mercedes-Benz says it plans to staff a new Seattle outpost with up to 150 software engineers in the next year and a half, the latest company to take interest in Seattle’s thriving high-tech sector.

The automaker, a division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler, joins a long list of companies setting up shop in Seattle in recent years to tap into the area’s software-development expertise.

The new office, under the Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America umbrella that also oversees engineers in California and Michigan, employs about 20 people today at its office at 1201 Western Ave. The company plans to open a garage space across the street in early 2018.

Mercedes-Benz says its workers in Seattle will focus on the cloud-computing services that manage and analyze data generated from internet-connected vehicles.

CLOUD COMPUTING

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The city plays a starring role in the cloud, primarily through Amazon.com’s Web Services (AWS) unit, the leader in on-demand computing power and other digital infrastructure, as well as Microsoft’s Azure, widely seen as the No. 2 player.

Dozens of companies, from retailer Best Buy to database software giant Oracle and Chinese search-engine maker Baidu have opened cloud-focused engineering hubs in the Seattle area in recent years, seeking to hire some of the thousands of developers that Amazon and Microsoft drew to the area or the proximity to deepen business ties with the computing giants. (Daimler units use both AWS and Microsoft’s Azure.)

Mike Dosenbach, a former software engineer at Amazon who also worked for Bellevue-based insurer Symetra and cloud-computing startup Okta, leads the new Mercedes-Benz office.

“We commit to this area and see the new office as a long-term investment,” he said.