Mercedes rings up phone-powered entertainment system

In-car entertainment systems are usually pants compared to consumer tech, but Mercedes is trying to change all that with a new concept.

In-car entertainment and information systems are usually pants in comparison to everyday consumer tech. They're clunky, lack features and are outdated years before they're released.

Luckily for tech-loving drivers, Mercedes-Benz is planning to bring in-car infotainment systems bang up to date with a next-gen connectivity design for its concept A-Class, Autoblog reports.

The system is based almost entirely on a user's mobile phone. Drivers slide their handset into a slot in the centre armrest and all data from the device is fed to an app on the car's central display.

From there, users can access pretty much everything on their smart phone. It's possible to send and read Tweets, update your Facebook status from a list of pre-written templates, look at your news feed and stalk your exes.

Text to speech technology allows emails to be read aloud and it's even possible to surf the Internet, although presumably, many of these functions can only be accessed by the driver while the vehicle is stationary (and when you have reliable signal).

Despite being highly futuristic, the system's pseudo-holographic graphical user interface looks as if it was sourced from the 80s. Also, in typical Mercedes-Benz style, none of it is touch controlled. Everything is accessed via a rotary knob on the centre console, which seems a tad incongruous with the whole smart phone vibe.

There's no word on whether the new connectivity system will feature in production Mercs any time soon, but we'd bet our houses on this system, or one like it, reaching road-ready cars in the not too distant future.

Watch the video below to see it in action.