Automakers "mbrace" Smartphones
Mercedes-Benz and Hughes Telematics recently announced "mbrace," featuring applications for iPhone and Blackberry to connect drivers even more closely with their vehicles. The new service, which is replacing the German automaker's Tele Aid system, is accessible using smartphones, the Internet, or from inside the vehicle. Basic features include remote lock and unlock, collision and alarm notification, stolen vehicle location, emergency calling and roadside assistance, and vehicle finder. Mercedes-Benz is also offering a package with location-based weather and traffic, agent-assisted navigation, and "Mercedes-Benz Concierge" for top tier subscribers.
This isn't the first time we've seen smartphones take on remote security and entry. Aftermarket car alarm and remote entry manufacturer Viper debuted an iPhone application with remote start and lock/unlock in October, and before that, car-sharing service Zipcar's app let users lock, unlock, and honk the horn remotely. Even earlier, Chrysler showed off some of the same functions at the Chicago Auto Show Concept Car Drive this past February. Forget about concierge service, if more automakers make it possible for drivers to bump a few keys off of the key ring by using devices they already carry, this tech could really take off.
Mercedes-Benz USA and Hughes Telematics Launch New Telematics Service: mbrace(TM)
New in-vehicle technology lays the foundation for unprecedented connectivity and customization options for drivers, improving safety, security and productivity
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and Hughes Telematics, Inc. (HTI) today launched mbrace(TM), a new telematics offering that brings an unprecedented level of connectivity to Mercedes-Benz drivers and begins the process of allowing them to customize their in-vehicle experiences to fit their daily needs. Powered by HTI, mbrace is now available on all new Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold through authorized dealers in the United States, and mbrace replaces Tele Aid, which was the previous telematics system that MBUSA has offered for the past 10 years, for such vehicles. In addition, most current Mercedes-Benz owners with the Tele Aid system will be eligible to upgrade to the new mbrace system.
"When we first launched our Telematics platform it contained features many vehicles still lack today, and now we want to take our offering to the next level," said Sascha Simon, director of advanced product planning, MBUSA. "With mbrace, we be
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