The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will make its official debut in September, but the German automaker is giving us a sneak preview of the new full-size luxury sedan by showing off its massive new touchscreen.
The 2021 Mercedes S-Class will introduce the second-generation of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system, also known as MBUX. The second-generation MBUX system will be displayed on a huge, 12.8-inch touchscreen mounted portrait style in the middle of the dashboard, but the technology won't be exclusive to front-seat passengers. Up to three rear-seat screens will also be available, a feature that will be particularly popular among buyers who intend to hire a chauffeur and spend most of their time in the back seat.
Those in the rear seat will be able to enjoy almost all the same MBUX functions as those in the front seat. They will also be able to share messages or media between screens, send navigational directions to the front, and accept or amend new navigation directions.
Some readers may be familiar with the MBUX system's onboard AI assistant, which can be activated by saying "Hey Mercedes" aloud. The second-gen MBUX system will now recognize even more voice commands and will also accept some commands without having to say "Hey Mercedes." For example, if the user is receiving a call on a phone paired with MBUX, they can simply say "accept call" to have the system answer the phone for them.
Additionally, users will be able to create up to seven profiles within the MBUX system, allowing multiple people to share one vehicle without having to adjust settings each time they get into it. The user can sign in to their profile using the Mercedes Me pin number or by using fingerprint or facial recognition. Just like before, the system will also recognize a certain user based on the sound of their voice. Payment options can be added to these secure profiles, as well, allowing the user to digitally pay for items from within their vehicle.
The automaker is using its AI technology to help improve user safety, too. Using the interior cameras, the system can detect when a passenger intends to exit the vehicle and will use the exterior cameras to scan for traffic, cyclists or other hazards that may be in their path when they open the door.
Joining the large central infotainment screen is a head-up display with augmented reality technology, which will project objects onto the road in front of the driver. When navigating, for example, the system will virtually project arrows onto the road lane to clearly indicate where the driver should turn.
Just like before, the new MBUX system will enable over-the-air-updates, so it will also change and improve over time as Mercedes-Benz develops new updates for the software.
More information on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and its advanced new infotainment system will become available following the sedan's debut this September.