If you’ve ever jumped into a Mercedes-Benz there’s a possibility one thing stuck out, the infotainment system COMAND. For me I’ve never thought it was an appropriate system for such a prestigious brand. It’s difficult to navigate, bland on the graphics front and more of an annoyance than help. But here at CES the German giant has showcased MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience, a new system that will transform its cars for years to come.
MBUX will utilise artificial intelligence and a personal assistant style interface that can be tailored to individual drivers. The natural style voice language falls under the banner LINGUATRON and allows for more simplified commands like “Hey Mercedes I’m feeling hot”. Cars, through AI are on the way to knowing you on an emotional level, this may sound a tad strange but it’s something we will all need to become accustomed too. Think of them as your own PA on wheels.
Aside from trying to be your best friend the system also has the capability of a high-resolution horizontal windscreen cockpit with touchscreen operation, a first for the company. It’s joined by a navigation display that includes augmented reality.
In terms of the menu systems, it’s all about swiping left and right and exposing increasingly deeper and deeper layers of information via a Homescreen, Basescreen and Submenu. Real time 3D renderings of the car can be displayed, allowing you to adjust settings by touching parts of the car. Aside from the glassy looking screens there will still be a touchpad on the centre console and buttons on the wheel. It does look fantastic compared to the current effort, they’ve even managed to almost replicate Audi’s virtual instrument cluster.
Mercedes-Benz would be secretly hoping their system blows Apple CarPlay and Android Auto out of the water. The consumer will judge that, but for the time being it will still offer both systems. MBUX will be introduced during the US spring in the new A-Class and filter through its compact cars first.