BY Fast Company 3 MINUTE READ

When it comes to technology, the S-Class has always led the way for Mercedes-Benz products, blazing the trail with new gadgets that will eventually filter down to humbler models in the range.

The 2021 Mercedes S-Class, however, promises to take things to an all-new level, with its second-generation MBUX system, augmented reality and up to five screens.

Much of what you see here could indeed filter down to newer generations of the E-Class, C-Class and eventually A-Class family too.

Mercedes has yet to reveal the new S-Class flagship sedan, although we have seen its face in a previous teaser, but on Wednesday the company spilled the beans on the vehicle’s interior technology, which sounds impressive to say the least.

Because the owner often sits in the back of the vehicle, at least in the car’s main markets such as China and the USA, Mercedes has systematically designed the new S-Class with the rear occupants in mind.

For instance, rear seat passengers have the same infotainment and comfort features as the driver and front passenger, with access to as many as three rear touchscreens as well as numerous control options such as the MBUX Interior Assist or the voice control assistant that responds to “Hey Mercedes”.

Talking MBUX, the new S-Class will usher in the second generation of this system, which boasts learn-capable artificial intelligence. Mercedes says the new cabin is significantly more digital and intelligent than before, while the possibilities for personalisation and intuitive operation have become far more extensive. 

This, says Mercedes, applies to both the front and rear occupants. For instance, the new 3D driver display allows a spatial view at the touch of a button for the first time. Here a real three-dimensional effect is achieved without having to wear 3D glasses.

What’s more, the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant is capable of even more dialogue. 

Furthermore, screen content can be quickly and easily shared with other passengers, while the selection and amendment of navigation destinations is possible from the rear seats.

Personal preferences such as a favourite radio station and pre-selected settings can be transferred to any seat via the personal Mercedes me profile on the Mercedes App. Up to seven different profiles are possible in the car.

New convenience functions include the pre-positioning 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.

Two different head-up display systems are available, the larger of them providing augmented reality content. When navigating, for instance, animated turn-off arrows are virtually projected onto the road lane. 

As mentioned the operating system upfront is more digital than before, with the central screen significantly bigger and taking on a vertical design. Mercedes has also reduced the number of traditional switches by 27.

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