Mercedes-Benz Unveils MBUX Hyperscreen
The Hyperscreen understands the driver’s wants and preferences
Mercedes-Benz unveiled on January 7, the crown on its EQS luxury electric sedan. The automaker has dubbed it MBUX Hyperscreen.
“MBUX Hyperscreen is both the brain and nervous system of the car”, explains Sajjad Khan, member of the management board of Mercedes-Benz AG and CTO. “MBUX Hyperscreen continually gets to know the driver better and delivers a tailored, personalized infotainment and operating offering before the occupant even has to click or scroll anywhere.”
What sets the Hyperscreen apart from earlier MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – models is that the latest version combines three screens, which give the driver and front seat passenger access to a myriad functions, into one.
The three screens are a digital gauge cluster, an infotainment screen and a screen to keep the front passenger occupied.
The Hyperscreen is one sheet of glass, 56 inches long, mounted on the dashboard. It dominates the dash running from the left A pillar to the right one. What the driver and front seat passenger see is one screen, not three. The Hyperscreen does away with scrolling and browsing for functions, leaving the driver to keep their attention on driving the vehicle.
“There’s no browsing for functions,” Khan says. “They find you!”
Functions include Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Change Assist and Traffic Sign Assist. Others include seat belt adjustment, interior lighting and climate control.
Khan goes on to explain that the system has the ability to learn what the driver wants. “Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX Hyperscreen can continuously understand the operators wants, preferences and/or patterns; offering a customized, personalized infotainment and operating often before the passenger has to click anything.”
So if the driver always calls someone on the way home on, say Tuesday evenings, the system recognizes the pattern and reminds the driver to do it. If someone else is at the wheel on Tuesday evening, there’s no reminder.
If the driver favours a warm seat and a massage, MBUX obliges by suggesting it. The driver then taps on the screen to warm the seat and start the massage without being distracted and drives on in comfort.
The system adds additional functions as required and takes them away when not required. They stay in the system’s brain until needed.
“All MBUX functions are linked to the user’s profile,” he says.
Keeping the passenger busy
While the focus is on the driver, the front seat passenger isn’t ignored.
The screen offers a separate display and operating area where they can watch videos and assist the driver in navigation, among other things. It’s possible to customize the passenger’s content. If the passenger seat is not occupied, the screen serves a decorative role.
Learning from customers
The automaker introduced MBUX in 2018 and has been keeping an eye on user feedback and the behaviour of the driver and passenger when it comes to what features they favour.
They found that 80 per cent of use is in the Navigation, Radio/Media and Telephone categories. Based on this, the navigation application is always at the centre of the screen unit with full functionality. Mercedes-Benz is confident that its zero-layer screen will reduce driver distraction caused by scrolling and browsing.
“The goal was a concept without distraction of the driver or creating complicated operation,” Khan says.
Only on the EQS
For now, the Hyperscreen will be available only on the automaker’s luxury EV, the EQS, which debuts later in the year. The Hyperscreen and its many attractive, new features serve as the perfect halo technology.
In fact, Khan goes so far as to say that the Hyperscreen is more than just a halo feature, it is what the EQ is all about. “With its unique electro-aesthetics and high user-friendliness, the Hyperscreen represents the entire character of the EQS – avant-garde, cool, personal and useful…the backbone of the vehicle or even the central brain of the vehicle.”
Since the Hyperscreen has the ability to run in a number of vehicles, it’s likely that it, will migrate to other vehicles on the automaker’s roster, but there’s no date set yet.
That doesn’t mean that the automaker is ignoring MBUX. A new version will debut in the new S-Class, which was unveiled late last year. The updated infotainment system will let drivers save various preferences like seat settings, interior lighting color, favorite radio station, among other features.
These personal profiles can be enabled or disabled by using the new security features, or loaded in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles. A fingerprint sensor in the main touchscreen and voice recognition will come standard, and there is a PIN setting as well. Buyers can also opt for a version of the device with cameras that allow for facial recognition.
Lawrence Papoff is a long-time automotive journalist and former editor of Canadian AutoWorld magazine.