Verizon Telematics is the Technology Engine Helping to Drive Innovation
by Maria Montenegro
At the Connected World Conference in Chicago last week, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class of vehicles won top honors as the 2014 ‘Connected Car of the Year’ in the Ultra-Luxury category for its award-winning mbrace2 system, a cloud-based service which offers a host of safety and convenience features to drivers accessible via smartphones and dedicated buttons in the vehicle. As described by Mercedes-Benz USA, the second generation of its award-winning mbrace offering, “brings the Internet to the dashboard” for drivers.
Verizon Telematics, the official sponsor of Connected World magazine’s 2014 ‘Connected Car of the Year Awards’, held this year for the first time in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show, partnered with Mercedes-Benz USA to develop its innovative mbrace2 offering which allows for the rapid mobile deployment of features and enhancements to aid drivers.
I caught up with Kevin Link, senior vice president of Verizon Telematics, who was on hand for the February 6 awards ceremony. Link commented that beyond the well-deserved and exciting win for Mercedes-Benz USA, the fact that the ‘Connected Car of the Year Awards’ were held this year alongside the Chicago Auto Show signals a big win for the ‘connected car’ industry, highlighting that auto manufacturers understand that the ‘connected car’ has arrived and is becoming top of mind for consumers.
More of Link’s comments on the state of the ‘connected car’ industry and what’s ahead can be found in this radio broadcast with Peggy Smedley, host of the Peggy Smedley Show and organizer of the Connected World Conference:
According to the editorial team at Connected World magazine, Mercedes-Benz USA is leading the pack in the ‘connected car’ revolution with mbrace2, which includes a comprehensive set of connected features that enhance safety and security of the vehicle and for the driver, while providing tremendous convenience. A core feature is automatic notification to emergency personnel in case the vehicle is in an accident, identifying the vehicle and the location. Additional enhancements include a mobile application that enables multiple ways for drivers to search and send points of interest to their navigation system, lock and unlock their vehicle or directly connect to a dealership. Further, in-vehicle features allow drivers to safely receive weather information, real-time traffic, and news updates. And the beauty of the entire experience according to Link is that the mbrace2 system can be updated remotely, providing Mercedes-Benz owners with new features and experiences long after they have purchased the vehicle.
Smedley, editorial director of Connected World magazine, commented, “We are recognizing the next generation of car technologies that are all about providing services, safety features, making the car autonomous, connecting our vehicles to the traffic infrastructure, and turning the back seat into an infotainment destination. Carmakers are raising the bar at a rapid pace. Look for a real interaction between the smartphone, tablet and car technologies as the race for the ultimate connected-car experience continues. Our program highlights and celebrates these efforts.”