SAN JOSE, CA – In a new program, some Mercedes-Benz drivers will be able to plan trips to restaurants, stores, and landmarks using Yahoo or Google, and then send directions directly to their vehicles, according to the San Jose Mercury news.

The program is called Search & Send. It was jointly developed with the two Silicon Valley Internet giants and DaimlerChrysler’s Research, Engineering and Design North America office in Palo Alto.

Drivers can plot destinations, addresses or points of interest using Google or Yahoo Local Maps. Then, they can click a "send to car" icon. The information is then sent to the vehicle's GPS navigation system and can be retrieved by pushing a dashboard button on the car's Tele Aid telematics system.

Tele Aid, a safety system that connects a vehicle to emergency personnel or to road-side assistance in the event of a breakdown, costs $240 a year. There is no charge for using Search & Send, which will be available to owners of 2007 and 2008 S- and CL-Class vehicles as well as buyers of the just-introduced 2008 C-Class models equipped with Multimedia Package and Navigation System. It will eventually be added to all Mercedes-Benz models sold in the U.S.

While many Mercedes models come with navigation systems where owners can type in addresses, the Search & Send feature allows owners to search for addresses such as restaurant or concert venues from their work or home computers, their cell phones, or digital devices.

“It takes away any hassle to type in any address in the system,” said Sascha Simon, manager of telematics for Mercedes-Benz USA. “It opens the capability of the Internet — points of interest, any address you want to find — and connects that with the car. It’s a very powerful tool.”

For example, a wife could send her husband to the store and send the address to his car, Simon said. Destinations can be driven to immediately, or stored in the vehicle's address book for later use. While Search & Send will arrive as an exclusive feature for Mercedes owners, Simon doesn't expect that to last very long.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials