MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-Benz USA announced its new mbrace2 telematics system at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The new system is powered by Hughes Telematics’ technology, and features major new types of services, including Internet and remote access capabilities. The system can also automatically update itself by accessing the cloud computing network Mercedes uses. Software updates are available throughout the ownership period of the vehicle.
The mbrace2 system features 3G network connectivity and enhanced integration with other vehicle networks. Some of the new remote access capabilities include Travel Zones/geo-fences, remote vehicle health diagnostics, Curfew Minder, a Driving Journal, and feature Speed Alerts, Valet Protect, and Remote Horns & Lights. A number of these features could be used by fleets to collect data about vehicle usage. Mercedes’ new Internet-based service, which the company is calling Mercedes-Benz Apps, also includes features such as Facebook, Google, open browsing, stocks, Yelp!, and news headlines.
The new system is compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones. It launches in 2012 with the MY13 SL-Class in the spring and will be standard in most MY13 passenger vehicles.
Six new members, including telematics provider Spireon, have joined Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative effort to develop an open platform for the connected car. With the addition of these companies and organizations, the project is now 130 members strong.