Mercedes Benz introduces an enhanced version on MBUX system on its S-Class.

Mercedes-Benz has systematically designed the new edition of its flagship model with the rear in mind. One example: passengers in the rear have the same extensive Infotainment and comfort features as the driver and front passenger. They have access to up to three touchscreens and a variety of different control options such as MBUX Interior Assist or the voice control assistant “Hey Mercedes”. Have a quick look the presentation on the way to the office, and discuss minor changes with your assistant by telephone conference? Or while away the long journey to your holiday home with the latest online films, while your brother next to you listens to his favourite audiobook? Whether managers or children – in an S-Class, and especially in the main markets of China and the USA, the boss often sits in the rear. 

The second generation of this learn-capable system now has its debut in the new S-Class. The vehicle interior is even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: brilliant displays on up to five large screens, in part with OLED technology, make control of vehicle and comfort functions even easier. The human factor is always the central consideration. The possibilities for personalization and intuitive operation have become far more extensive. This certainly applies in the rear, but also for the driver: for example, the new 3D driver display allows a spatial view at the touch of a button for the first time. A real three-dimensional effect is achieved without having to wear 3D glasses.

The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” is 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.

Alongside the classic entry of a PIN, a new authentication method ensures a high level of security. Fingerprint, face and voice recognition are combined. This allows access to individual settings or verification of digital payment processes from the vehicle.

However, the unique feature of MBUX is its networking with a wide range of vehicle systems and sensor data. For example, the exit warning function in the S-Class now uses cameras to recognize 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. MBUX Interior Assist checks whether the child seat is correctly attached to the front passenger seat. The driver’s attention level is also monitored. The driver is warned by ATTENTION ASSIST if there are signs of microsleep.

Overview of key features

Many forms of interaction and personalization from every seat:

  • The latest screen technologies and MBUX for all occupants
    • Media display in portrait format as a visual highlight
    • On request this is available with OLED technology and haptic feedback
    • The driver display allows real three-dimensional effect without having to wear 3D glasses
    • Up to three screens in the rear
    • Screen content can be quickly and easily shared with other passengers
    • Selection and amendment of navigation destinations is possible from the rear seats
  • Extensive personalization
    • By scanning a QR code with the Mercedes App, the vehicle is automatically connected to the Mercedes me account
    • Personal preferences such as a favorite radio station and preselected settings can be transferred to any seat via the personal Mercedes me profile
    • Up to seven different profiles are possible in the vehicle
    • The ambient lighting can be individually set by remote configuration, e.g. from home
    • As the profiles can now be stored in the Cloud as part of Mercedes me, they can also be used in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the new MBUX generation
    • Alongside entry of the Mercedes me PIN, new biometric and interconnected authentication functions ensure a high level of security. These are fingerprint, face and voice recognition.
      • The driver display is optionally available with two cameras. These are used e.g. for face recognition
    • Simplified, intuitive operation:
      • depending on the equipment level, MBUX Interior Assist recognizes up to 20 control wishes
        • New safety functions include recognition of an unattached child seat on the front passenger seat and the blind spot warning. This detects the intention to leave the vehicle by the movements of the occupant. This allows an even earlier warning of other road users and obstacles at the side of the vehicle
        • New convenience functions include prepositioning of the driver’s seat and outside mirrors according to body size, and operation of the rear roller blind by glancing over the shoulder. The sliding sunroof can also be operated by hand gestures
      • The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” listens even more carefully, and understands the occupants even better:
        • “Hey Mercedes” can also be controlled from the rear. Several microphones help to tell the system which seat the voice is coming from. Flashing ambient lighting identifies the current speaker
        • If the driver says “I’m tired”, an activation program of ENERGIZING comfort control is started. The same sentence from the rear starts a wellbeing program.
        • “Hey Mercedes” explains functions (“Explore me”), and e.g. helps when a smartphone is to be connected via Bluetooth, or explains where the first-aid kit can be found
        • The activation keyword “Hey Mercedes” is no longer necessary for certain applications. An incoming call can be taken direct with “Accept call”, for example
  • “Hey Mercedes” now supports 27 languages with natural language understanding (NLU). This makes natural interaction on a wide range of topics possible
  • The new Chit-Chat and knowledge domain supplies the right answer to many questions – even questions about animal noises or general knowledge are answered
  • A dialogue with a real person can also be started.
  • Domestic systems and home appliances can also be linked to the vehicle and voice-controlled thanks to the Smart Home function
  • Two different head-up displays (HUDs) are available on request
    • The larger HUD provides augmented reality (AR) content
      • When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows (“fishbones”) are virtually projected onto the road lane. For the assistance functions, information from e.g. Active Distance Assist is shown.
    • Not only the switch icons in the door panels allow seat adjustments to be made – they are also accessible via the display screens. Operation of comfort functions such as seat heating or massage is also possible by voice control

Puristic, luxurious design as an intuitive experience:

  • The driver display and media display offer a comprehensive aesthetic experience
    • The appearance of the screens can be individualized with a choice of four display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service)
  • The number of classic controls has been greatly reduced: 27 fewer hard keys (mechanical switches) than in the preceding model
    • As an addition to touching and swiping, voice control and natural hand gestures, gaze control extends the operating options
    • However, key functions such as the lights or windscreen wipers can still be operated directly. The climate control panel is permanently at the lower edge of the display
  • The user interface (UI) follows human intuition
    • MBUX Interior Assist responds to gestures and movements
    • “Hey Mercedes” responds to speech
  • In the large head-up display, the relevant information is projected into the driver’s field of vision at a virtual distance of approx. ten meters
    • Coloured augmented reality content can be integrated into this (see above)
    • As this is superimposed directly onto reality, the result is directly perceptible information that is important for the current driving situation