Mercedes-Benz is using CES 2016 as a venue to showcase its in-vehicle technology along with unveiling the interior of the new E-Class it will unveil at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Las Vegas electronics show display is titled “It’s all about me” and allows visitors to interactively immerse themselves in the Mercedes world of modern mobility and digital life, primarily through the innovative and highly-digitalized cockpit of the new E-Class that features high-res visualizations and animations, touch controls and wireless Smartphone charging.
Meanwhile, the Concept Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile show car offers a look into the future intelligence that’s going to be built into not only Mercedes-Benz vehicles but all vehicles.
“The future belongs to the digital car in which people are the point of focus,” according to Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the board of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Mercedes-Benz is making successful inroads into the intelligent networking of the car and the individual living environment of the driver. As part of this, Mercedes me is the interactive interface between people, vehicle and the Mercedes-Benz brand.”
“Mercedes me” is what the company has designated its machine/human interactive environment and CES 2016 visitors will have the chance to experience the range of Mercedes-Benz onboard services, ranging from the individual users personal networking preferences through to the availability of things such as online financial services.
Among its many features, Mercedes me automatically dials emergency services in the event of a crash and also allows owners to control certain vehicle functions via a mobile app (door locks, heating and ventilation, point to point navigation, that sort of thing).
It also connects people to Mercedes me physical retail outlets, currently operating in Richmond, B.C., as well as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich in Germany, and Hong Kong, with a temporary store set up in Las Vegas during CES 2016.
However, the CES display also offered a glimpse at the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior, which features an innovative infotainment system that Mercedes says marks a milestone transformation in the classic control and display of the Digital User Experience in the company’s vehicles.
In addition to now familiar things such as touchpads, controllers and voice commands, the new E-Class has touch controls on the steering wheel, which allows complete control of the infotainment system without taking hands off the wheel.
It also features gesture control over displays on the instrument cluster (now a high-resolution 1920x720 display that opens up new possibilities for information and its control) and centre display. The driver has the final say on the information displayed (among Classic, Sport and Progressive modes) and how it’s presented.
“Given the growing degree of networking of vehicles, the control and visualisation of all functions are becoming increasingly important,” explains Daimler board member Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber. “Whether we are talking multimedia, assistance systems or autonomous driving – it is becoming more and more about how drivers and other vehicle occupants experience networking both in and outside of the vehicle. This includes not only the functionality but also the display design.”
The other neat feature is the wireless charging pad, which not only uses a 153x90 mm pad to wirelessly charge all mobile devices using the Qi standard, but also allows the user’s Smartphone to become the vehicle’s digital key, allowing control over door locks and ignition. The onboard system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Meanwhile, the new Mercedes-Benz Companion App for iPhone and Apple Watch learns the user’s actions and his/her environment to personalize the experience for the individual. The app suggests destinations to the user based on past actions and then pushes the direction to the COMAND on-board system.