What’s that, you have a twin 10.25-inch display on your dashboard? That’s so 2020, my man, because Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled a massive 56-inch display – dubbed Hyperscreen – for the upcoming EQS that is so big, it is the entire dashboard. Yes, it’s all-screen. The future is now.
Well, okay technically it’s three individual screens – a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch infotainment screen, and a 12.3-inch screen for the front passenger – but Mercedes-Benz has blended the screens almost seamlessly together into a single panel that spans 141 cm wide.
The Hyperscreen is the centrepiece of Mercedes-Benz’s second-generation MBUX infotainment, which ditches physical buttons completely for a fully-touchscreen and voice-command interface. We’re not sure who told Mercedes that a pure touchscreen interface in a moving vehicle was ever a good idea, but we digress.
The second-gen MBUX system relies heavily on artificial intelligence to adapt its display to the user’s needs and habits. A key feature in the system is the “zero-layer interface”, which Mercedes-Benz says puts important apps and settings right on the screen within the driver’s field of vision, negating the need to scroll through multiple pages of menus or use voice commands.
For example, if a driver regularly calls someone at a particular time of day, the MBUX system will automatically prompt them to make a call to that person at that given time.
The AI feature is not just for infotainment purposes only, too – say a driver raises the car using the air suspension every time they pass through a location, the system will automatically learn that behaviour and do it for the driver the next time they pass through the same area.
The central and passenger screens feature OLED technology, which blends right into the black curved “screen band” when not in use – as if nothing was there in the first place. When no passenger is detected on the front passenger seat, the screen turns into an animated starry decorative screen – or as the carmaker calls it, the Mercedes-Benz Pattern.
To help with navigating the touchscreen interface while driving, the Hyperscreen will include 12 actuators beneath the touch-sensitive surface for haptic feedback. Two coatings of the cover plate are said to reduce reflections and make cleaning easier, and the curved glass itself also consists of particularly scratch-resistant aluminium silicate.
It still remains to be seen how well a fully touch-operated interface will work in a moving car, as multiple studies have suggested that these digital infotainment systems may be distracting enough to increase the risk of accidents, especially for older drivers. And in the case of the Hyperscreen, we won’t know for sure until the fully-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS is launched later this year.
“The goal was a concept without distraction of the driver or complicated operation”, said Mercedes-Benz’s CTO on the new MBUX generation, Sajjad Khan. “We didn’t want to build the biggest screen ever in a car. Instead, we have developed special screens with a perfect ratio of size and functionality for maximum user-friendliness.”