Mercedes-Benz announced Tuesday that company’s new A-class line of cars will integrate with the iPhone in a way that’s never been done before. The firm has developed a free app called “Digital DriveStyle” that will allow access to key features of an iPhone, including Siri voice-control.
Drivers of A-class cars fitted with a “Drive Kit Plus for the Apple iPhone” will be able to access features on their phone using controls on the center armrest. And, of course, all of this is meant to meld with the attractive look of the interior of the vehicle.
Digital DriveStyle Screenshot App Image
This integration will allow drivers to send messages, select music, check weather and stocks, and access their calendar. Facebook and Twitter will also be accessible, allowing for connectivity while on the road.
The “Digital DriveStyle App” will also include a personalized internet radio station, advanced Garmin navigation, text-to-speech from social networks, and “Car Finder,” which automatically stores the vehicle’s location and can provide directions on how to return to it. Siri is also integrated into the app.
The iPhone will be connected through an interface that allows it to display on the screen in the car’s dash, and of course it will also power and charge the iPhone when connected. The interface was created by a team of designers and engineers in Palo Alto, CA to be intuitive and appropriate for in-vehicle use, making it safer to operate. Access to many functions through Siri’s natural speech interface can help make it easier to operate as well.
The A-class is targeted at younger drivers, those who are likely to have a “digital lifestyle” in the first place. Even entry-level Audio 20 systems will be able to access all of these functions, meaning that it won’t be limited to the higher-priced audio packages.
The “Digital DriveStyle App” and the “Drive Kit Plus for the Apple iPhone” are scheduled to debut at the Geneva Motor Show beginning March 8th. They are also to be included in B-, C-, and E-Class vehicles in the fall.