Ahead of the now-virtual CES 2021, Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart has unveiled the MBUX Hyperscreen, a 56-inch-wide, curved cinematic display that stretches across the entire dashboard, even over the left and right air vents. The company said the AI software powering the display is capable of learning the driver and passenger’s preferences and then adapting its suggestions for infotainment, comfort, electric drive settings, and other vehicle functions.
The MBUX Hyperscreen consists of several displays connected together seamlessly, with OLED panels in the center and on the right. It uses a light sensor and a three-layer design; the “zero layer,” or top level, is designed so that it only displays the current relevant controls in a situational and contextual way. The idea is that you don’t have to scroll through submenus or even use voice commands to get to the function you want.
The screen works with MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), the latest infotainment and vehicle OS the automaker first unveiled in 2018; the second generation of it just debuted a few months ago on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S Class. The passenger can select from one of seven profiles to account for individual preferences.
The company said that the MBUX Hyperscreen’s lowest layer contains the ambient lighting, which makes the display appear to float relative to the instrument panel. Eight CPU cores power the display, and it accesses 24GB of memory through 46.4GB-per-second bandwidth. Twelve actuators provide haptic feedback on the screen, which also includes anti-glare and scratch-resistant coatings.
The first model to get the MBUX Hyperscreen will be the upcoming 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS all-electric sedan, which the company claims will be the fastest EV sedan available. It’s expected to compete directly with the Tesla Model S, although all bets are that the Mercedes model will start near $100,000–in line with higher trims of the Model S but far above the latter’s sub-$70,000 base price for 2021.
Years ago, Mercedes-Benz unveiled concept cars with gesture-based, augmented-reality UIs built into not just the dashboard but the windshield as well. As you drove, it would highlight actual stores, other points of interest, street signs, and so on through the windshield and overlay GPS directions onto the real road in front of you. The MBUX Hyperscreen doesn’t go that far, but we’ll bet it’s still quite impressive in person.