Mercedes-Benz has historically used its flagship S-Class to introduce new technology to the brand, and the upcoming W223 series is no exception.
Ahead of its September debut, Mercedes-Benz has released details about its latest My MBUX infotainment system.
Rear seat passengers enjoy numerous enhancements, which should please the oft-chauffeured owners in markets such as China.
The MBUX interface and the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant are available for all occupants, with the S-Class offering up to three screens in the rear with the same features as the screen up front, including comfort and navigation controls.
Occupants can quickly and easily share content with others in the car, while personal preferences such as your favourite radio station can be transferred to any seat using your personal Mercedes me profile. Up to seven different profiles are possible in the vehicle and can be stored in the cloud.
Mercedes says it makes use of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology “on request”. OLED screens use up to 30 per cent less energy than conventional LCD ones as they don’t require external background lighting and they only consume power where pixels light up.
The OLED displays are behind glass facings and feature haptic feedback.
Two different head-up displays are available, with the larger of the two featuring augmented reality. If you have a destination entered into the navigation, animated turn-off arrows are virtually projected onto the road lane to indicate where you should go next (demonstration here). These appear at a virtual distance of 10 metres.
The instrument cluster display promises a real three-dimensional effect without requiring dorky glasses.
It uses a conventional LCD display with a special pixel structure and a controllable LCD aperture grille, as well as a stereo camera system that precisely determines your eye position. Four different styles are available for the display.
Naturally, the S-Class uses the Hey Mercedes voice assistant which can recognise indirect requests and is capable of learning. If you say “I’m tired”, it’ll activate the Energizing Comfort Control and adjust the cabin fragrance, lighting, music and seat as part of the comfort program.
Domestic systems can also now be linked to the vehicle and voice-controlled via the Smart Home function.
Mercedes says there are 27 fewer mechanical switches in the S-Class’s cabin than in the current model as more functionality moves to the infotainment system.
You won’t even need to touch a screen or use voice commands for some things. Hand gestures can be used for many functions including opening the sunroof, while the Interior Assist function’s gaze control allows you to merely look at various interior items to enable adjustment.
A gaze over your shoulder, for example, opens the sun blind while a gaze at the front passenger seat at night switches the light on.
The upcoming S-Class also offers additional safety features in addition to these convenience items. An exit warning feature warns you if a vehicle is approaching and in your car’s blind spot, the ambient lighting flashing red.
The MBUX Interior Assist advises whether a child seat in the front passenger seat is correctly attached, while Attention Assist warns you if it detects signs of micro sleep while you’re driving.
Other highlights include the ability to scan a QR code with the Mercedes App to connect the vehicle to your Mercedes Me account, plus ambient lighting which can be set remotely.
In addition to a PIN, the car can also verify the driver via a combination of fingerprint, face and voice recognition.