Revolution in the cockpit. Mercedes-Benz User Experience

Taking centre stage in the Mercedes-Benz presence at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES; 9 - 12 January 2018) will be the world premiere of the intuitive and intelligent multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. It will enter series production in 2018 in the new A-Class.

MBUX is used in the entire new compact car generation from Mercedes-Benz and will enter series production in spring 2018 in the new A-Class. Its highlight is the comprehensive touch operation concept – the combination of a touchscreen, touchpad on the centre console and Touch-Control Buttons in the steering wheel. In addition to the intuitive operating experience, less driver distraction is another advantage.

In addition, at the exhibition stand in Las Vegas Mercedes-Benz will present the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA, the smart vision EQ fortwo and the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE as well as the pre-series model of the Mercedes Benz GLC F-CELL, a fuel-cell- and battery-powered electric vehicle.

Design: Intuitive operating system for more safety and comfort

The operating system on the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit comprises three levels with increasing information density:

On the first level you find what is known as the Homescreen. This is where, alongside the freely selectable main applications (e.g. telephone, navigation and radio), the most important information (such as arrival time, song currently being played etc.) is displayed.

The next level – the Basescreen – with the display and controls for one main application respectively, such as Media and Navigation, is only one step away. The most important information and control options respectively are attractively presented at this level. Important functions such as destination or music search are grouped at the bottom edge of the screen.

For seldom-used information and settings there is the Submenu on the final level.

Operation is horizontal and makes optimum use of the widescreen format of the display. The fully digital instrument cluster can be configured virtually entirely according to personal preferences. As an alternative to the classic speed display in the left-hand tube, displays such as Analog Clock, From Start, From Reset, Range or Information on the current radio station / media title can be placed there. In the right-hand tube, in addition to the rev counter, an assistance graphic, the current consumption, the ECO display or a navigation map can also be displayed.

In Fullscreen Mode the entire area of the instrument cluster is used for displaying Assistance, Journey or Navigation:

Voice control: “Hey Mercedes” obeys every command

Conventional voice control systems in cars call for certain fixed commands from their users. Thanks to natural speech recognition, MBUX's LINGUATRONIC, on the other hand, obeys virtually every command, recognises and understands nearly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and vehicle operation. For example, “Will the sun be shining tomorrow in Miami? ” is now as easily understood as “Do I need sunglasses tomorrow in Miami? ”. The intelligent language assistance is activated either via a button on the steering wheel or with the keyphrase “Hey Mercedes”.

The voice control is also capable of learning. On the one hand it attunes to the user and her voice and also understands non-native speakers better; on the other hand the software models on the server learn new buzzwords or changing use of language with time. The system also no longer answers stereotypically, but varies in the dialogue output too.

Holistic touch-control system: three control options

Alongside the intelligent voice assistance the MBUX operating concept includes a touchscreen. The new A-Class is the first Mercedes ever to have such a touch-sensitive screen. This touchscreen is part of the comprehensive touch-control concept – a triad consisting of the touchscreen, touchpad and Touch-Control Buttons. With the touchpad on the centre console the information in the media display can be changed intuitively as on a smartphone. The contents can simply be enlarged or moved, and in particular the navigation map can be zoomed in and out, via gestures with several fingers. A haptic feedback accompanies every input. The touchpad also recognises handwriting. This means that addresses or telephone numbers can be input conveniently.

The Touch-Control Buttons in the steering wheel facilitate operation of the infotainment (right-hand button) and the instrument cluster, as well as the head-up display (left-hand button) via finger-swiping movements, without the driver's hands needing to leave the steering wheel.

Mercedes me: new services, easy operation

New and improved Mercedes me connect services are being launched with the new infotainment generation MBUX. These include, among others, navigation functions based on Car-to-X communication (information on road conditions such as slippery roads or snow or approaching emergency vehicles is shown on the map) and vehicle locating, which makes finding a parked vehicle easier, as well as a message in case something has bumped into the parked vehicle or it has been towed away. The Mercedes me App sends a reminder to leave on time so as to arrive at the next appointment punctually, taking traffic conditions into account.

Individualisation: the car is becoming part of me

Using “prediction features”, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next. For instance, anyone who often telephones their mother on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion on the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.

The customer also has the opportunity to choose from three display styles: alongside Classic and Sport, the Understated style is also offered as a special feature – all displays are reduced to what is absolutely essential here.

All settings (e.g. seating position, ambient lighting, favourite radio station, orientation of the navigation map right through to personal predictions) can be saved in a profile. If two drivers share a car, each can call up his/her favourite setting easily.

 

  • Cockpit in three versions (figures apply to instrument cluster/touchscreen respectively):
    • with two 7-inch (17.78 cm) displays
    • with one 7 and one 10.25-inch display
    • with two 10.25-inch displays (26 cm) and a resolution of up to 1920 x 720 pixels (200 dpi)
  • Touchscreen: capacitive sensors
  • Touch-Control Buttons: capacitive sensors
  • Touchpad: capacitive sensors and haptic feedback
  • Head-up display: brightness up to 12,000 cd/m²

  • Basic graphics chip: NVIDIA Reilly PX (Headunit Mid/Entry)
  • Top graphics chip: NVIDIA Parker 128 (Headunit High)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • CPU: 6 Core, 2 Denver and 4xA57
  • GPU: 128 - 256 CUDA Cores
  • Performance: 59,300 DMIPS, 500GFLOPS
  • Operating system: Linux
  • Bus systems: user-interface CAN, MOST, CAN
  • Communications module: HERMES LTE

  • Data source for navigation map: HERE
  • Data source for voice control: Nuance
  • Data source for weather: Foreca, Autonavi
  • Data source for POI: HERE

  • USB: USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 as well as Type C for quicker charging
  • Bluetooth®
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Vehicle data
  • Front camera
  • To “anti-theft alarm system (ATA) ” sensors

  • Smartwatch: watchOS and Android Wear 2.0.
  • Smartphone: Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto, Baidu CarLife (China)

Impressions from the CES in Las Vegas:

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