• CES
  • Jan 11th 2012 at 3:59PM
  • 15
Following Dr. Z's keynote here at CES, Mercedes-Benz showed off the latest iteration of its telematics and infotainment system, mBrace2.

The system simply expands and enhances what M-B's system has been doing for the last few years, integrating Facebook, Google Point of Interest searches and now Google Street View into the current COMAND interface.

There's a full-scale browser controlled by the central COMAND knob, but as you can see in the video after the jump, a combination of spotty data access (the CES show floor needs its own spectrum) and some oddly chosen user interface decisions makes for a rather clunky experience.

Data issues aside, the biggest problem is using the outmoded concept of a pointer to select things on the screen. That's fine for PCs, but using a five-way controller to pan and click around a page is infuriatingly frustrating. Here's hoping M-B irons out the kinks before mBrace2 arrives on the all-new SL and the rest of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz lineup.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear Car Manufacturers, I would really appreciate it if you guys would stop sticking useless garbage in people's faces. There is no need for any of this in the front seat(unless you're making it for rear occupants). The ONLY thing a driver should be doing is DRIVING. Not only do I have to be extra attentive on the road for other drivers who may be talking or texting on the phone, but now I have to also be worried about the possibility of getting t-boned in an intersection by someone who's trying to update their Facebook status. In all seriousness. I don't like Big government and sometimes they over-regulate the automotive industry. But if they are so concerned with safety(probably not, we all know why), then they are looking in the wrong places and should be keeping their eye on crap like this. Putting more useless & distracting garbage in reach of a driver is becoming a big problem and I don't see anyone stepping up and doing something about it. Instead, it seems like it's being welcomed with open arms by all manufacturers alike.
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        While it is indeed useless, d-bags will be lining up to buy it, just like they used to shell out $3000 for a rear seat DVD player. Why? Because they can. And it impresses their buddies and neighbors. No one actually needs or will use all this stuff, they just buy it for the gee whiz factor.
        David J. Bernstein
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        I don't need this useless stuff in my car, but manufacturers have to compete for customers these days. This is sadly a means of impressing the clueless folks out there who think "internet in car = awesome".
      icerabbit
      • 3 Years Ago
      At this point in time, they really should have integrated a touch screen and allow tapping on the screen as well as still using the traditional controller, so you are not SOL should ze touch zcreen fail. I completely share the sentiment with others Facebook has no business in a car stereo. It is one thing to listen to the radio and navigation prompts. Another, more distracting to carry a conversation and make phone calls (hopefully hands-free). But, Facebook-ing is in league right up there with texting behind the wheel. Not a day goes bye that you don't see unsafe driving behavior, distracted driving, decreased attention etc from someone with their phone to their ear or in their hand. The other day I saw a young guy operate TWO PHONES simultaneously behind the wheel of his little sedan, on the interstate, at speed, having difficulty to stay in his lane. Texting on one phone and looking something up on the other. Doubt I'll forget his german name from his custom car tag. Personally I don't care for navigation lock out the way some vehicles have it, as we typically have the passenger enter the destination on while we're already on the road, or try to find that POI in the database ... since it can take forever with the previous generation COMAND system. For that reason I'm happy we'll be able to lookup POI via the internet, so we don't depend on data from several years ago that finally made its way onto a DVD or HDD into your car at production time, which then costs a few hundred to update.
      myworld111
      • 3 Years Ago
      Agree...facebook has no business in car stereo. What it needs is a good navigation platform and the current MB platform is flat out useless. Google maps integeration makes sense. Search google POI is very useful but fabebookk naaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh
      trevor-k
      • 3 Years Ago
      Audi MMI in the a benz cls would be the ideal vehicle set-up
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can see it now - bumper sticker that says "Like me now on Facebook.com/Sukairain/" Ding! You have a Private Message from Sukairain - "dear white Chevy Tahoe in front of me - pls get the F out of the fast lane, thx" "dear yellow Camaro - just wanted to tell you how cute you are, got time for Starbucks at the next intersection? Would love to check out what you have under the hood"
        Andre Neves
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        Or cars will send up getting LED screens on the back trunk/bumper so it can display your latest tweet/status.
      Mchicha
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please wait!! even my IBM from 1992 did not do that
      sickjump
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think facebook goes very nicely with Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blindspot Assist, and Distronic Plus. I can refresh my ex girlfriends facebook page 17 times a minute and barely have to look at the road with all of those safety features.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Mchicha
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cadillac now has the most advanced technological package. Mercedes is still using "insert Radio Here" set up that has been abadoned by both Chevrolet, Ford etc... Its a shame, really even Buick has a better interior infotainment package than this.
      myworld111
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only thing I would settle for is a touchscreen. This is lame.
      T-Mille
      • 3 Years Ago
      mmmBrrrrrrrrr...
      clquake
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't understand the concept behind putting Facebook into a car. Is there really a need to install an option that completely distracts you from the road? And what happens in 5 yrs when the fb fad is dead.
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