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Mercedes-Benz revs up its smart, connected car efforts (photos)

The high-end automaker delivers its first CES keynote, led by Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche. He focuses on car-sharing, electric vehicles, new driver interfaces, and a future focused on "auto-mobility."

CNET News staff
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1 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Mercedes-Benz delivered its first CES keynote today, led by Dieter Zetsche, chairman of parent company Daimler. He focused on car-sharing, electric vehicles, new driver interfaces, and a future focused on "auto-mobility."

Here's one of the vehicles to grace the keynote stage, the Mercedes-Benz F125 concept.

Click on for more photos from the event. Or see our summary post on how the event unfolded.
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2 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Also onstage is the Car2Go ride-share vehicle, which has been tested pretty extensively in Europe and select U.S. cities.
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3 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Geoff Day, director of communications at Mercedes Benz USA, kicks off the event, asking audience members to tweet questions for a question-and-answer period.
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4 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Zetsche then takes the stage and out rolls the brand new SL coupe.
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5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
"A car is a personal declaration of independence," Zetsche says. He carries the themes of connectivity, freedom, and independence throughout his speech.
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6 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
He touts Mercedes services and apps stay up to date with the Internet. "Mercedes is currently the only OEM who offers [a safe Internet connection in the car]."
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7 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Zetsche then moves onto ride-sharing efforts. "Some colleagues still think that car-sharing borders on communism," he says, with this picture of Che Guevara towering over him. "But if that's the case, viva la revolucion!"
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8 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
He also says future Mercedes cars will have a telematics app called CarTogether that can help drivers find people with whom to share rides.
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9 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Of course "emissions are one thing; congestion is another," he adds, leading to an update on Mercedes efforts to better manage traffic data.
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10 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
Using GPS data from smartphones can help identify pain points ahead of time. "The connected car is a proactive car," Zetsche says.
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11 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
His final message and "personal favorite" is that cars are fun, and will be even more so. "To be truly successful, a car has first to deliver its function and then [deliver] excitement."
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12 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET
He closes with a new "declaration of automotive independence: the best days...are yet to come," he said, touting "life, liberty and the pursuit of mobility."

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