Earlier today, I was having a look at the BMW 3-Series on BMW Canada’s website, and the Infotainment section caught my eye. I figure I’m a pretty modern guy, so I have a look at it. But if I’m honest, I wasn’t thrilled by my findings.
Mercedes has launched a replacement for their Tele Aid telematics system called mbrace. It was developed together with Hughes Telematics. It will provide users with access to 18 different services.
Services include a vehicle locator, someone to direct you if you get lost, and the ability to order online. You can also pair the system to a smart phone, to do things like lock/unlock the car using your phone.
The system also has an automatic emergency service notification service to notify authorities in the case that the car is stolen or in an accident, a vehicle health check function which will provide live info to the nearest dealership (Presumably you can view this info as well), real-time weather and traffic reports, and to give it that Mercedes luxury touch, a concierge service that gives you 24/7 access to a customer-service representative who will help you make dinner reservations, book a hotel or order a flight.
It will be offered as standard equipment on all models except the GLK, C-Class, SLK and E-Class Coupe, though it is available as an option on these models. Subscription to the service is needed, and the first six months are free, but then it costs $280 a year, plus an extra $20 a month for the concierge service.
The best bit about it is that its fully upgradable, new applications can be easily installed as they are developed. Also, if you have a Mercedes with the old Tele Aid system, you can upgrade to mbrace at your local dealership.