Mercedes is already experimenting with a raft of new innovation for the next-gen S-Class, due on sale in 2018. among the advancements being investigated are gesture controls, 3D-printed trim pieces, plus lightweight one-piece seats as well as one-piece air vents. Auto reveal talked with Mercedes’ chief interior designer Jan Kaul at the brand’s headquarters in Stuttgart Germany. In the huge style workshops, Kaul talked us with examples of his work as well as exactly how Mercedes plans to take back a track record for wow-factor cabin style from Audi as well as Tesla.
Mercedes gesture manage technology
“Yes, we are working [on gesture controls] for some functions, however of course, utilizing hand signals is not ideal for everything”, Kaul explained miming hand gestures. “For example, if you are inputting a destination to the navigation, this is much easier with voice recognition or a menu than gestures. however it is something we are continuing to work on, as well as you will see it soon”. Something else set to make the leap from idea to showrooms is lightweight, single-piece trim fittings. The S-Class Coupe idea from the 2013 Frankfurt motor show utilized unique one-piece seats as well as one-piece air vents to communicate a sense of simplicity. Jan states with a smile: “these are coming extremely soon. The [one piece] seats are tough since we need to make the stitching as well as leather last the life of the car, however our designers are working extremely hard”.
The interior style manager likewise expressed confidence that slimmer one-piece seats would still be capable of integrating the heating, cooling, massage as well as modification functions currently used in Mercedes cars. Could the one-piece air vents, as well as other complex details like the speaker grilles be 3D printed, making them stiffer, lighter as well as quicker to manufacture? “Yes, for sure”, is the reply from Kaus. “But this is a concern of margins – we need to be making [thousands of these] elements to be sure the high quality as well as expense [is viable].
Mercedes virtual instrument binnacle
Asked exactly how Mercedes would react to Audi’s switch from central infotainment screens to a online instrument binnacle in the new TT, Kaus stated ‘it is something we will look at, however we only do things since that are ideal for us, not since our rivals do.” The exact same reply is used when we ask Kaus’ viewpoint of Tesla’s revolutionary gigantic 16-inch touchscreen in the design S electric saloon. “Touchscreen is not always the ideal option for all customers, as well as it can be hazardous since you need to take your eyes [off] the road. In the Tesla, the screen is so big than some functions are as well low [down on the dashboard].” We likewise put a typical visitor concern to Kaus – why not make Mercedes’ notorious ‘floating’ tablet-style screens a detachable tablet, or just mould them into the primary dashboard?
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“No, we cannot [have a detachable tablet screen] since of safety”, Kaus says. “We cannot have screens coming loose in a accident as well as triggering an injury, so it need to be extremely solidly fixed. increasing the screen [above the dashboard] keeps it in the driver’s line of sight.” Kaus went on to dispel the myth that a ‘floating screen’ is just a inexpensive method to prevent warm build-up in the dashboard, as well as scorned Audi’s ‘pop-up’ MMI screens, which retract into the dashboard when not in use. “We had a pop-up screen in the [pre-facelift last-gen] C-Class. It had a extremely challenging mechanism, as well as there is no point, since whenever you get in the car, you want to utilize the navigation or stereo or telephone – so you requirement the screen. There is no point [in making it disappear].
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The Mercedes S-Class has always been packed with technological innovation. Which new features would you like to see on the next generation version? tell us in the comments section below…