updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri September 16, 2011
Mercedes upgrades iPhone, iPad in-car tech
Mercedes-Benz made technology a focus in the Frankfurt Auto Show with new integration for iPhones and iPads. iPhone Interface Plus mates a glove-mounted iPhone dock with the center stack info system, mirroring both the screen and the video. A companion app provides an interface for common driving tasks optimized on the larger screen, such as map routing, local music, and Internet radio.
The app can share music and location details over Facebook and Twitter. Outside of the car, it has a parking tracker.
Passengers are getting their own iOS accommodations through the iPad Integration Plus. The kit mounts Apple's first- and second-generation tablets on the seat back for the sake of rear passengers and can rotate for portrait and landscape modes without having to take it out of its protection. It preserves access to ports with USB charging from the car, and the design is even crash-proof to prevent the iPad from becoming a hazard in the event of an accident.
Buyers will first have access to the iPad kit, which costs 329 euros ($454) and will ship on September 28. iPhone Interface Plus won't be ready until summer 2012 but can be added to older Mercedes-Benz cars along with newer models. Its app will be free and should ship at the same time.