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Computers for Commuters: The Car Dashboards of the Future Are Here

Why in God's name would you ever want to drive without having constant access to Facebook? You wouldn't, and now you don't have to. Get the scoop on four cars with computerized dashboards that come equipped with a slew of apps and features.

Mercedes Mbrace2 (pictured)
Model: 2013 SL-Class
Apps: Facebook, Yelp, Panoramio, and more come built-in.
Interface: A 7-inch screen sits in the dash, and a control knob lets you scroll through applications.
Bonus: Apps update automatically (no downloading necessary), while app data is backed up on the cloud.

Cadillac Cue
Models: 2012 XTS, ATS, and SRX
Apps: Syncs to iPhones and Android devices, letting you access your contacts, music, apps like Pandora and Stitcher, and text messages (which it can read aloud).
Interface: An 8-inch touchscreen is controlled by a tap (or a flick or a swipe) and voice commands.
Bonus: To lessen distraction, proximity sensors make the display disappear when not in use; it reappears as your hand draws closer to the screen.

Lexus Enform
Models: 2013 GS, LX, and RX
Apps: Equipped with seven, including Pandora, Yelp, Bing, and MovieTickets.com.
Interface: A 12.3-inch splitscreen—with entertainment, navigation, and apps on the left and climate, volume control, and fuel gauge on the right; it also accepts commands via voice or joystick-like controller.
Bonus: As Lexus rolls out more apps, the screen size allows for a total of 18.

Buick Intellilink
Models: 2012 Verano, Regal, and LaCrosse
Apps: Syncs via Bluetooth or USB with your handheld or tablet to make calls and access Pandora, Stitcher, and Gracenote.
Interface: A 7-inch touchscreen, which can also be operated by steering-wheel-mounted controls and voice activation.
Bonus: It links to your music and contacts from a smartphone, a flash drive, or an MP3 player.

—Alyssa Giacobbe


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Photo courtesy of Mercedes
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