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Mercedes S-Class All-New MBUX System Revealed

STUTTGART The Mercedes S-Class has for some time been going backwards. Witness the three touchscreens and myriad of control options made for rear passengers of its latest model. Going backwards, but sure to leave behind the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 in the true luxury hallmarks of finesse and magic carpet ride comfort, when it premieres in a few months. Sat Bal    

And the back just got better with passengers enjoying the same extensive infotainment and comfort features as the front occupants. Rear controls include the just revealed MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Interior Assist system and the voice control assistant "Hey Mercedes".

This second generation MBUX learn-capable system now makes its  debut in the new S-Class. The vehicle interior is even more digital and intelligent: OLED-brilliant displays feature on up to five large screens. OLED technology adds to the ‘wow’ and the control/comfort functions.

It's now about fewer buttons and more options for personalisation and intuitive operation. So the driver gets the new 3D driver display which allows a spatial view at the touch of a button for the first time. A real three-dimensional effect - without 3D glasses.

The voice assistant "Hey Mercedes" is more talkative and a better listener. It can work even without calling the activation keyword for some actions like accepting a telephone call or displaying the navigation map.

"Hey Mercedes" can now also explain where the first-aid kit is, or how to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth. Several microphones tell the system where the voice is coming from and flashing ambient lighting identifies the current speaker.

PIN entry is now supported by a new authentication method for higher security. New biometric and interconnected authentication functions mean security encompasses fingerprint, face and voice recognition. This allows access to individual settings or verification of digital payment processes from the vehicle.

Mercedes says the USP of MBUX is its cross-networking capacity with vehicle systems and sensor data. Thus 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.

The driver's attention level is also monitored. The driver is warned by 'Attention Assist' if it detects any signs of sleepiness. If the driver says "I'm tired", an activation of its 'Energising  comfort' control begins.

Screen content can be quickly and easily shared with other passengers who can also select or change navigation destinations is from the back. The ambient lighting can be individually set by remote, even from home. And domestic systems and home appliances can also be linked to the vehicle and voice-controlled thanks to the Smart Home function

Seven profiles can now be stored in the Cloud as part of Mercedes me and used in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the new MBUX generation.

Two different head-up displays (HUDs) are available and the larger HUD provides augmented reality content. On navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows are virtually projected ahead onto the road lane. Relevant information is projected into the driver's field of vision at a virtual distance of circa 10 metres.

Human-centred intuitive technology is the takeaway here. This MBUX teaser is a trailer for the S-Class's forthcoming premiere and we know that the next gen features that huge infotainment screen which dominates the driver console.

Can't wait to see the rest of the S-Class W223, scheduled to premiere in September. Nor, presumably, can Audi. Or BMW...

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