} ;

CES 2018: Mercedes Benz shows off slick UX

11 January 2018 | by Joe Simpson

Mercedes Benz demoed its new MB UX interface here, ahead of the next A-Class launch later in 2018.

It’s representative of a new approach from OEMs, where the new tech — and the interior generally — is taking precedence over the exterior, a trend we’re seeing right now across the industry.

So what of the MB UX? If you’ve experienced the company’s interface in the E- or S-Class it will have a level of familiarity. A pair of screens, visually joined together. They’re smaller here — less deep, and less wide than the E- or S-Class double 12-inch display, at 10 inches a piece. The overall effect is still quite dramatic, although the UI retains a very familiar Mercedes-Benz feel, sat on a greeny-blue background.

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The name of the game is choice. Users can control most actions either via the steering wheel touch-pads, the screen itself — now touch operated, a first for Mercedes-Benz – or the remote interface, which in a significant development, ditches the rotary controller altogether in favour of a square touchpad very reminiscent of Lexus’s RTTI system, which is not exactly universally loved. 

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Notably, the demos focused on the touch operation, but it will be interesting to see how well it works out on the road. It’s sure to be a showroom sales stealer, but we wonder about ease of use out on the road.

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Perhaps most impressive is how fluid and slick this system is. There is almost no latency — Mercedes was demo’ing a 3D car which the user interacts with to customise vehicle set up. It spins through 360 degrees, and horizontal/vertical planes, with zero lag. Similarly, the way that messages appear in the cluster, and scrolling through stations and songs happens, is incredibly slick with nice acceleration within the animation. Take a look at the video below to see how it works.

We’ll be interested to see its eventual integration in the A-Class. And to try it out, for real, on the road.

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CES 2018