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Mercedes-Benz integrates Google Maps features

At Google I/O, Mercedes-Benz demonstrates upcoming integration with Google local search, Street View, and traffic, using an iPhone connected to its Drive Kit Plus feature in an SL-class.

Mercedes-Benz DriveStyle app
Mercedes-Benz DriveStyle app
With an iPhone running the DriveStyle app connected to a Mercedes-Benz, the driver can access the DriveStyle interface. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz announced it would demonstrate Google local search, Street View, and traffic integrated into the dashboard of one of its vehicles during Google I/O. These features will be introduced soon as part of Mercedes-Benz's DriveStyle app.

Local search will let drivers enter any term to begin a search, resulting in a list of nearby place names. Each entry can be selected as a destination for navigation. The Street View feature will let the driver see a 360-degree view of any destination, as long as Google has covered it.

Traffic data is similar to what can be found on Google Maps. Mercedes-Benz did not say whether it would replace or complement the existing traffic data already available on its navigation system.

One intriguing feature called Radar View relies on Google data to find concentrations of bars, restaurants, or clubs in any city. This feature helps drivers quickly find nightlife centers.

The Google integration relies on Mercedes-Benz's DriveStyle app running on an iPhone and connected to a car using the Mercedes-Benz Drive Kit Plus feature. Once connected, the driver uses the car's Comand (Mercedes-Benz's name for its cabin electronics) interface to control and view the Google content.

The DriveStyle app currently lets drivers access social media and audio on the iPhone. The new Google Maps features will be categorized under a new Places menu.

The DriveStyle app currently only works on the iPhone 4/4S. Mercedes-Benz promises a version for the iPhone 5 soon, but offered no information about an Android version.

Mercedes-Benz DriveStyle app
This Street View image is delivered to the car's LCD through an iPhone's data connection. Mercedes-Benz