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ICONIC MERCEDES


Raising the bar again

COMPILED BY Dyan Seneviratne

As a brand leader, Mercedes-Benz is set to raise things up a notch in terms of comfort and technological innovation. Industry eyes are on the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class that’s likely to be unveiled in a few months. Folks are eagerly awaiting the EQS, which is an all electric sedan.

The industry term ‘E-Active Body Control’ will provide Mercedes-Benz’ luxury cars with a magic carpet-like ride, tilting in corners, scanning the road ahead and raising its own ride height to vanquish the menace known as speed bumps off the road.

Others in the pipeline include the optional rear-wheel steering improved

manoeuvrability and new air bag technology that shrouds the rear passengers and partitions the front occupants with a wall of cushioning.

How’s that for spellbinding, safety-centric innovation?

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ infotainment system has also evolved dramatically. The hitherto cutting-edge MBUX has transformed into My MBUX for the new S-Class and brings with it a whole new batch of technologies.

Member of the board of management for Mercedes-Benz and head of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, Electric) Sajjad Khan says: “We started from the back coming forward; but we haven’t forgotten or compromised on anything.”

“We designed the new S-Class interior around the central screen and created a whole new digital approach,” notes Daimler’s Chief Design Officer Gordon Wagener.

Mercedes’ new screen layout uses OLED technology, which is the screen tech that needs no backlight and is up to 30 percent more energy efficient than LCD tech. It also allows for deeper blacks and more stark contrasts that are ideal for combatting the glare from the sun. It has haptic feedback similar to what’s seen on the current high end Audis.

The company says that while there are much fewer physical buttons inside, there’s more to the car than simply a glitzy touchscreen.

“We put the customer in the middle and thought about what ingredients we’d like to put in the vehicle – those that would bring value to them. We didn’t want to aspire for anything big or small in terms of screen size; we simply took the customer’s perspective,” Khan reveals.

The new technological showpiece has to be the optional augmented reality head-up display, which is an evolution of MBUX’s augmented navigation introduced in October last year. It effectively transforms the windscreen into a 77 inch display complete with animated arrows and graphics that indicate your distance from the vehicle in front.

And finally, the customisable driver’s instruments have a three-dimensional effect, which is created through an LCD screen plus a mesh that’s a few millimetres in front with a display on it and two cameras tracking eye movements.

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