Mercedes-Benz isn’t the company I tend to think of when it comes to high tech entertainment and apps for their cars. The company has an app for the iPhone called mbrace that has been around for a while and was developed to offer all sorts of connectivity with the car for things like unlocking, getting assistance, and finding your car in a crowded lot.
MB has added a really cool new feature to the offering that is called Drive2Friend. The feature allows the user to connect to and then navigate to where their contacts or friends are right them. The mbrace system has nine ways to send destinations to the MB vehicle. The destinations can be sent for the iPhone, a browser, and from a website.
"The convenience of mbrace is once again extended beyond the vehicle, giving Mercedes-Benz customers the freedom to enjoy personalized service even when they’re not in the driver’s seat," said Sascha Simon, head of advanced product planning, MBUSA. "This unique upgrade integrates the Web and smartphone with the vehicle’s navigation system to provide an easy way for our customers to connect with their contacts."
It's not clear exactly how the app locates the friends whereabouts. It appears that it works based off the address in the contacts page of the iPhone. It would be so much cooler if the device could interface with something like Facebook Places to use the car navigation system to route you to wherever your friends checked in. That would get you to dinner or to hang out with ease if you weren’t sure of the address.
"As mobile apps and networking become more prevalent in the marketplace, it is our goal to work with Mercedes-Benz to remain at the forefront with connected innovation integrated within the vehicle and beyond," said Erik Goldman, president, HTI. "The new mbrace service and Drive2Friend feature provide new and exciting ways for customers to stay connected – not only to their vehicles but also with friends and family."