Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz has revealed a major interior component of its upcoming electric luxury sedan: a large, curved screen that sweeps throughout almost the entire width of the car instead of a conventional dashboard.
The company’s CEO says it’s not just a selling point for consumers but also points to a potential source of new digital revenue.
The MBUX Hyperscreen option available on the EQS sedan coming later this year makes use of artificial intelligence to learn what functions drivers use most, including navigation and hands-free phone calls, then keeps those functions mainly on display so drivers don’t have to hunt.
“It makes it so intuitive that the thing that you want to do, whether it’s navigation or music or whatever you want to do, that you very quickly, very intuitively have that thing at your fingertips. You don’t have to scroll through many different layers,” Kallenius said in a conference call with reporters.
For example, if the driver often uses the hot-stone massage function during the winter, the system will encourage using that function during cold weather. Or, if the driver calls regularly on the way home, the system will suggest a call at the general time.
The screen also lets the front seat passenger watch television in some markets, while avoiding the driver from watching the passenger’s screen to prevent distraction. If the passenger seat is unoccupied, that part of the screen switches to a decorative pattern only. The most important functions are surfaced at the screen’s basic level so the driver doesn’t have to hunt for them, and the system also makes use of voice commands.
Kallenius said that in developing the screen, the company concentrating on removing information and activities that could preoccupy drivers. “We wanted to reduce driver distraction and make the car safe,” he said.
The system also provides a chance to capture future digital revenue through subscription and streaming services available through the Hyperscreen option, including a live traffic service. Kallenius said such services would be helpful in increasing revenue and profit in subscriptions and that the company wants to grow digital revenues to 1 billion euros ($1.21 billion) before interest and taxes by 2025.
Kallenius said the forthcoming EQS luxury sedan would present the automaker’s efforts in digitalization and electrification, two trends that are shaking up the industry. It’s the first Mercedes car built on its all-electric framework instead of sharing components with an internal combustion model.
The EQS, the electric counterpart to the Mercedes traditionally powered S-Class, is one of four battery-powered models coming this year as German automakers look forward to rival American electric autormaker Tesla.