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Mercedes-Benz and its partners at Hughes Telematics have released an updated version of its Mbrace app for the iPhone, and 2.0 brings along a new line of location-based services.

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What's good for the iPhone is apparently good for the sedan. Hughes Telematics is working up a suite of programs that will work with its in-car communications technology and allow you to download applications for your car. From tailored data collection to controlling your car's systems with your phone to repurposing your car's features, the possibilities will turn your humble transport into the ultimate programmable appliance when Hughes releases the software to be ready in 2010. Let the betting

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On our final night in Vegas, Hughes Telematics invited us over to talk about their work in... well... telematics. Among their demo vehicles was a Dodge Journey outfitted with what is essentially Chrysler's version of OnStar. The Journey will be Chrysler's first product with the service and should be available this summer.

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We're not going out on a limb by saying that the future of in-car technology is connecting all our electronic detritus into a cohesive network. Ford's Sync system has already made that possible on many fronts and GM's OnStar has set a new standard for safety, navigation and communication. Atlanta-based Hughes Telematics is announcing a new system that will fuse both of those systems into a comprehensive whole and selling a subscription service akin to OnStar's arrangement.

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