Mercedes Takes Facebook for a Test Drive

Mercedes gets aggressive with cloud-based dashboard

   

At the Detroit Auto Show this week, Mercedes showed off some sleek, expensive cars that should nicely meet the needs of the 1%. But interestingly enough, the company’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche, actually gave a keynote speech Tuesday — at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Yet a further sign of the convergence of cars and cutting-edge technologies.

To this end, Zetsche debuted a new platform, called mbrace2. It is essentially a dashboard that’s connected to the cloud (using 3G Internet). With it, you can easily get updates on Facebook or find the nearest restaurant with Yelp or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). And of course, you can get updated stock quotes.

When driving, you won’t be able to type status updates (this would be a health hazard), but mbrace2 will make it easy to find nearby friends — as well as restaurants they have “liked” — by tapping the screen. In fact, when you start driving, you can launch an automatic Facebook update about your trip. And there’s few better ways to show off to your friends than by cruising around in your Mercedes!

Mercedes is not alone in embracing the connected driver. Ford (NYSE:F) also has its own technology platform (called Sync), as does Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

As for the launch of mbrace2, it is expected to come out first in the Mercedes’ 2013 SL roadster vehicles.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


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