Auto-giant Mercedes-Benz (U.S.) has designed a Facebook app which would be available for all its new cars rolled out this year.
Initially, the app will be available only for the 2013 SL Class Mercedes and later for all Mercedes models.
The Facebook app is driver-friendly and has fewer features than the usual Facebook. Gaming is disabled in the app, so is entering a text. All these would ensure that the driver is less distracted. The app is also designed to connect to friends and businesses.
The app offers a range of pre-written messages that a person behind the wheel can post on Facebook. Once the car's navigation system has been fed with destination details, the driver can post about these, including the estimated time of arrival, and can locate a list of friends en route. The driver can also view restaurants rated by friends on that route.
The car-maker claims that the app would not be more distracting than a standard in-car navigation system or radio, reports Reuters.
The app, jointly designed by a Mercedes engineering team at Palo Alto (California) and Facebook, has been tested to ensure vehicle safety. Designing the app almost took six months.
Mercedes already offers its in-vehicle mbrace2 telematics system which has a high-resolution colour screen near the dashboard and a high-speed wireless Internet connection. The Facebook app would be an additional feature to this telematic system.
"Now that cars have screens that are intelligent, you would expect that more and more car manufacturers will want to make those screens capable of allowing people to connect with their friends and take advantage of the social context that comes along with that," the news agency quoted Dan Rose, Facebook Vice President of Partnerships and Platform Marketing.
"One of the core things that people do on their screens in the car is GPS navigation and the ability to see which of your friends are nearby is something we think will be really interesting for people."
Mercedes, which had earlier launched other special apps with Google and Yelp, will showcase the Facebook app in the in-vehicle telematics system at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.