Mercedes and Microsoft put your contacts and more to your car

Mercedes has announced a new project ‘In Car Office’ which will put your calendar, contacts etc on your car dashboard, starting in 2017.

This is interesting because there’s some specifics and a date.  Usually these car related tech announcements are long on catch phrases (‘strategic alliance’, ‘future’, ‘vision’) and short on reality.

While there’s no software to be seen, the idea is interesting.  Essentially, they are making a device which will sync with your cloud-based personal data; contacts, calendar and presumably email.  Much the same as a smartphone does now.

With that data in the car, it can work with the car navigation system.  Click on the address in a contact, appointment or email to get driving directions.   Phone calls can be made or received with info on the screen from your contacts list.

‘In Car Office’ will link to Exchange Server hosted accounts. It will be interesting to see which Exchange Server hosts will be supported.  Hopefully not just Office 365 hosted accounts.  Perhaps will also be available.

Of course, you’ll have to be able to afford the latest and greatest Mercedes.  The rest of us will have to wait for these innovations to trickle down to cheaper cars.

Maybe no need to wait

A smartphone in a proper mounting and hands-free connections can do most, if not all of what’s promised from Mercedes.  It might not look as fancy but it does the job.   Some existing cars have tight integration between a smartphone and in-dash display via Bluetooth.