Over the years, there has been a frenetic arms race to increase the power placed under the hoods of vehicles. Today, 300 hp is routine, and even 400 is commonplace in some models. Some offer up 600 or 700, or more. Sheer madness.
Over the years, we’ve also witnessed a slightly less testosterone-filled race, this one touching on technologies and safety systems. The constant fight among automakers to outdo one another is a reflection of the current nature of the industry. These days, one sub-section of that race has to do with the size of the screens that are offered inside vehicles.
Not so long ago, we used to marvel at a 7-inch multimedia screen. Remember those days? Then it was 10 inches, and soon even that wasn’t overly impressive. Cadillac presented a screen of over 30 inches. Now, Mercedes-Benz is ready to roll out a 56-inch infotainment display screen.
Fittingly, the new system is called MBUX Hyperscreen, and in fact it consists of three connected screens - one in front of the driver, one on the centre console and one in front of the passenger seat. All together, the surface acreage amounts to 56 inches. This new monster screen will appear for the first time aboard the EQS sedan, the full-size all-electric sedan that Mercedes is set to introduce this spring.
The screen gives access to an updated version of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system, first introduced in 2018 with the A-Class, and which uses artificial intelligence to adapt the system to the needs and habits of the user.
For example, if a driver regularly calls someone at a given time of day, the system prompts him or her to make a call to that person at that specific time. And if a user regularly lifts the car using the air suspension at a specific location, for example to get over a speed bump, the system will learn this behavior and do it automatically for the driver.
The 17.7-inch multimedia display and the 12.3-inch passenger display offer an LED display. When there is no passenger in the front seat, the screen on that side of the vehicle remains unusable.
What will be interesting is how this huge unit will fit into the design of the cabin. The images provided today by Mercedes-Benz show the screen in its entire glory, but not within the cabin of one of its vehicles. We’ll know more in the spring...