• Remote Control Your Benz From Your Phone

    Mercedes-Benz announced its new telematics platform - called mbrace - on Monday, featuring an improved navigation system that provides directions, access to up-to-date location-based traffic and weather and information about points of interest along your route. The new service also integrates with car owners' iPhones, allowing them to find their Benzes and unlock them with a single tap.

    The new Mercedes system replaces its 10-year-old Tele Aid service and comes standard on most models. There is built-in GPS capability and two-way data communications using Verizon in the US. If you're in an accident, the system will detect it by sensing if the airbags have deployed or if the Automatic Tensioning System on the seat-belts is triggered. An alert is sent to the Mercedes-Benz "Emergency Response Center," where an operator will attempt to call your iPhone. If they're unable to get through or if the user requests assistance, emergency services are immediately dispatched.

    For normal use, the iPhone app will will lock or unlock a Benz remotely: literally remotely. Because the app sends commands to the car through its the 3G or WiFi connection, even if the phone is on one coast and the Benz on the other, it will still lock your car. The app will also locate your car and tell you how to get to it, and unlike some other apps will pinpoint the vehicle through its GPS transponder, rather than making the user remember to tag the car’s location when it's parked.

    And of course, if you want to find your nearest Mercedes dealer, the app will help you do that, too.

    The iPhone app is free. The Mercedes C-class starts at $33,600 US.

    image via Hughes Telematics, Inc.
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