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Sponsored feature: The Mercedes-Benz Cockpit: Past, Present and Future

16th Apr 2020 11:00 am

Considering Mercedes-Benz has long pioneered what cockpit design has come to mean, we take a quick look at its evolution over the years.


Mercedes-Benz breaks new ground with every model - in terms of performance, technology, and style. That also translates into the way its cockpits are designed. And, over the years, we have seen human-centric technologies occupy the centre-stage inside every Mercedes. The latest innovation from Mercedes-Benz is the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), the most intelligent and intuitive multimedia system in the luxury segment, which is nothing less than a revolution in the cockpit. 

All fine in the ‘50s: The interior and dashboard of the Mercedes-Benz 220 S ‘Ponton’ saloon (1954 to 1959).

The MBUX blends touchscreen multimedia displays, navigation with augmented reality, and intelligent voice control via the ‘talk’ button or the ‘Hey Mercedes’ prompt. With the MBUX, Mercedes is once again at the forefront when it comes to dialling in technology into the cockpit to provide the ultimate in user experience to owners and drivers. According to top Mercedes officials, the MBUX - which is available in the recently launched GLC and the upcoming A-class - is a lot like “a very good butler. The more you use it, the better it knows and anticipates your preferences.”


S-class sedan from model series 116 (1972 to 1980). The increase in onboard systems for greater safety and comfort also required new ergonomic solutions.

So, while you have everything that makes a Mercedes cockpit a snug place to be in - acres of fine leather and tasteful touches of chrome, among others - the German manufacturer is reinventing the cockpit using detailed real-time 3D graphics and artificial intelligence.


What things looked like inside a Mercedes-Benz 250 C back in the 1970s.

Besides touch control and Al-based voice control, Mercedes has also equipped with the MBUX navigation system with location tech. The location technology, designed by UK-based What3words, revolves around a geocode system for the communication of a location with a resolution of three metres.

Inside the iconic Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.

As impressive is the AI-powered natural language processing that makes interacting with your car a smoother affair, shorn of any awkwardness or lag. For instance, MBUX gets it when you say, “It’s warm in here”, and will accordingly lower the temperature inside the car. And the response, thanks to two mics placed on the driver and passenger side, is always quick. MBUX can be customised to suit the user, and this further strengthens the bond between the vehicle, driver and passengers.

A view of the ‘internet-based’ future from 2008 - myCOMAND.

What will the future of cockpit design be like in a Mercedes-Benz? Well, there are some broad hints available in the interior design of the Vision AVTR (Advanced Vehicle Transformation) concept that was displayed at the CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. The four-seater ATVR, inspired by the 2009 hit ‘Avatar’, will seek to “establish a biometric connection with the driver”. And, according to a press release from the company, the car’s centre console would recognise “the human driver’s heartbeat and breath so man and machine literally merge into a fully intuitive experience.”

The future of the cockpit, as envisioned by Mercedes-Benz, is certainly interesting, but the trajectory of its design has always been attuned to the needs of its passengers. Regardless whether we are talking about a plush saloon from the 1960s, the latest GLC, or a sustainable and autonomous car 20 years from now, that is one thing that will never change.

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