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Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class Clever rear-seat entertainment for Mercedes-Benz S-Class
New Mercedes-Benz system puts back-seat drivers in control.

The mighty Mercedes-Benz S-Class is, infamously, the choice of dictators around the world, but now Mercedes is going to at least democratise the interior, by offering those in the back seats the same high-tech MBUX infotainment system as those in the front. "Whether managers or children - in an S-Class, the boss often sits in the rear" says Mercedes. Welcome to the S-Class Digital.

As many as five screens

So what's the boss going to be playing with? Well, up front the MBUX screens in the dashboard will gain OLED technology, for brighter, crisper, displays and the software now includes learning capabilities. With as many as three screens in the back, the number of displays has jumped to five, and for the driver there is now a 3D display element.

The "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant is also capable of even more dialogue. Certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword "Hey Mercedes", for example. These include accepting a telephone call or displaying the navigation map. Hey Mercedes can now also explain where the first-aid kit is located, or how to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth. "Hey Mercedes" can now also be controlled from the rear. Several microphones help to tell the system which seat the voice is coming from. A flashing ambient lighting identifies the current speaker. Oh, and to keep the kids really happy the system can now answer general knowledge questions, such as animal noise queries. Seriously.

Biometric security

For security, there's a PIN code that can be entered, and there's also now biometric security with fingerprint, face, and voice recognition which allows the system to make payments for fuel, or ticket bookings while you're driving.

There are also some new safety features. For example, the exit warning function in the S-Class now uses cameras to recognise that an occupant wants to leave the vehicle. If another road user is approaching in the blind spot, the active ambient lighting becomes part of the exit warning system and flashes red.

Needless to say, the whole system can be linked to your Mercedes Me smartphone app, which can be done simply by scanning a QR code with your phone. As many as seven profiles for personal preferences - music, lighting, heating etc - can be stored, and as the profiles can be loaded up to the cloud, they can also be shared with other MBUX-equipped vehicles from the Mercedes range.

There's also a Smart Home function which allows you to integrate the controls for household gadgets - such as your home heating system - into the dashboard.

Massive heads-up display

For the driver, the new heads-up-display (HUD) can now incorporate augmented reality elements, including projecting turning arrows for navigation onto the road ahead. That HUD appears as the equivalent of a massive 77-inch screen when it's projected onto the windscreen.

The appearance of the screens can be individualised with a choice of four display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). One worrying aspect, of which Mercedes seems quite proud, is that there are 27 fewer physical buttons in the cabin than in that of the outgoing S-Class. We're really not sure about that, given how distracting touchscreen systems can be.

There's also a gesture control system, which recognises natural movements such as swishing your hand backwards to activate the sunroof, and which can also use customised gestures which you can personally programme into the system. The mind boggles at the possibilities of that one... The system can also recognise if the driver is looking over his or her shoulder and automatically retract the rear sunblinds for maximum visibility.



Published on July 9, 2020
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