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Mercedes embraces the iPhone
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Mercedes embraces the iPhone

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Unlock your car with your iPhone or Blackberry.

Bit by bit (or byte by byte), carmakers are connecting their vehicles not only to Internet-based services but also to owners’ smartphones. The latest is Mercedes-Benz, which announced a new telematics platform Monday that beefs up its navigation system with traffic and weather information and lets drivers lock or unlock their cars using an iPhone or BlackBerry. Dubbed mbrace, the new Mercedes system is based on services from Hughes Telematics, which will handle online communications through its servers. Replacing Mercedes’s 10-year-old Tele Aid system, the basic mbrace package will be standard on most models, with built-in GPS capability and two-way data communications over Verizon’s network. Included in the standard system are safety features like automatic collision notification and emergency calling for those involved in serious accidents. Several convenience features are also available, like planning a route using Google Maps and having it sent directly to the car. – From NY Times



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