We talked to Robert at the Mercedes-Benz booth at CES 2012 about Mercedes-Benz's new mbrace2 technology. Mbrace2 is Mercedes-Benz's newest generation of connected car technology. It is fully loaded with Mercedes-Benz apps which are customized versions of popular apps including Google Local Search, Yelp, Morningstar Finance, news, and others.
The safety of both the driver and those around them is very important to Mercedes-Benz, so each app is customized for the driving environment. For example on Yelp and Google Local Search data entry is disabled while driving. The driver can only access predetermined search terms such as banks, restaurants, and hotels while driving. Moving up and down through choices is done through a knob that sits on the center console of the car. You can call or navigate to a location directly from mbrace. If you are using the news application while driving it will only show you the headlines and maybe a picture. However, there is a one-button push to send the full article to an email address.
Everything is controlled through the center panel. All updates will be done through the cloud. As time goes on Mercedes-Benz hopes to integrate more of the GPS technology available in the car with off-board tools that are on phones. Mercedes-Benz hopes to have mbrace available on all models starting in 2013. There will be a monthly subscription fee but the price has not been determined.