In a move that inches drivers one step closer to a seamlessly connected vehicle, Mercedes released a suite of tools that give owners nine ways to send a destination from their computer or mobile device to their vehicle's navigation system. That's right: nine ways. If you drive a Mercedes, you now have no excuse for not knowing where you're going.
Using the newly updated Mbrace iPhone or iPad app, drivers can send a manually entered address, a point-of-interest search result, a contact from their address book, or their current location to their vehicle. Before this app update, there wasn't a way to send a destination from a mobile phone to the vehicle's in-dash navigation system since Google did away with the Send To Car feature in the Maps app. However, drivers can still send addresses using Google Maps from a computer.
Version 3 of the Mbrace app also includes Mercedes' new Drive2Friend feature. To use the Drive2Friend service, the driver enters a mobile phone number in the Mbrace app or on Mercedes' Mbrace Web site. The service sends a text message to the mobile phone, and the friend has up to 24 hours to respond Yes to the text message, which enables the service to triangulate their location and send the vehicle their location. Because Drive2Friend uses cell phone tower triangulation rather than GPS, all phones that can send and receive text messages on the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks will work (probably Verizon as well). However, smartphones equipped with GPS will deliver more accurate results. Expect to see this trick in an upcoming movie of some sort.
The fastest and easiest way to send an address to the car is Mercedes' new browser widget. The downloadable widget is installed in a computer's Internet browser, and enables users to highlight an address on a Web page and send it to the vehicle with the click of a button. The toolbar widget is available for Internet Explorer and Firefox, with a Safari version coming in the near future.
The last and least obvious way to send an address to the navigation system is to use the Send2Benz.com Web site and manually enter an address. As with all send-to-car options, you need to use your Mbrace account credentials to make the tool work. And once you're in the car, you download the address and can navigate to the destination right away or save the address for later. You may never need to write down directions again.