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© Mercedes-Benz Electronics Production | January 05, 2010

iSuppli tests Mercedes-Benz’s mbrace System

“The new Mercedes-Benz mbrace telematics system revolutionises in-car connectivity by providing the first-ever OEM solution that links cars to smart phones and their apps”, states the market researcher iSuppli.
The market researcher performed one of its usability tests on the new 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – which incorporates the new mbrace telematics service. “The new mbrace telematics platform stands high above Mercedes-Benz’s previous solution, called Tele Aid,” Mark Boyadjis, analyst and regional manager for iSuppli, stated in a release. With the new system, the German car giant “has set a new benchmark for how to integrate smart-phone applications into the vehicle”, he continued in saying.

The system is based on an embedded 3G Telematics Control Unit (TCU) from German automotive supplier Continental and uses Verizon Wireless as the network operator. It is therefore the same hardware platform that was employed by Mercedes’ previous Tele Aid services. However, Hughes Telematics is currently working on a new hardware platform that will enable more new services, iSuppli continued.

“From firsthand experience, I can say the remote door lock gave the E-Class the ‘wow factor’ among the people I showed it to,” Mr Boyadjis stated. “The mbrace smart-phone application worked great once I downloaded it on a Blackberry and an iPhone. From either device, I was able to lock and unlock the doors simply by pressing an icon on the device. Being in the frigid upper Midwest region of the United States in December, most people asked if I could start the car from the phone as well. Unfortunately, the answer was ‘not yet.’”

However, the performance of the vehicle finder did not impress the testers – it “was able to locate the car only once out of four times tested”, the market researcher states. The performance is subject to poor GPS signals or other problems that may be beyond the control of Mercedes-Benz and Hughes Telematics. Furthermore, mbrace neither includes any bundled Location-Based Services (LBS) for use with the onboard navigation system nor a remote diagnostics feature.

Source: iSuppli

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