Currently reading: Mercedes doubles down on mega screens
Physical buttons are not on the company's agenda, as it pushes further away from traditional user interfaces

Mercedes models will offer more and even larger screens in their interiors over the coming years.

The firm’s chief technology officer, Markus Schäfer, told Autocar at CES in Las Vegas that Mercedes is still "on a trajectory where you see even more screens in the car", at a time when some competitors are scaling back on ever-larger touchscreens in favour of a return to more physical buttons.

Mercedes has introduced the so-called MBUX Hyperscreen into some of its electric cars, including the Mercedes EQS, and this seamless, pillar-to-pillar screen is what Schäfer sees as being rolled out across more models in the future.

"Mercedes will go to seamless screens from left to right. That's the next evolution," he said.

He described this screen as a "really stunning experience" and a huge development over the separate bonded screens behind glass. "I think this screen is a very essential part for us, at least for the next couple of years."

The firm will look to continue to use OLED technology from LG to ensure a high-quality display. The screen itself is more than 1.4m wide.

Schäfer doesn't see any alternative to such screens, and while the firm has investigated more augmented reality projection through the windscreen, he considers these to have "many downsides".

"That's why our way is clearly working with high-quality screens," he said. "New technologies are coming up for a really seamless experience and we are going to be using gaming engine technology to make it even more attractive and create stunning visualisation for us to be really immersive."

Schäfer also confirmed a wider roll-out of AI within Mercedes cars, after a beta trial of using ChatGPT in models in the US last year. Mercedes also announced at CES a new AI virtual assistant that a driver will be able to communicate with and carry out commands in the car.

However, in the case of ChatGPT, Schäfer said Mercedes is having to watch closely what it tells drivers because "if it tells you something that's absolutely nonsense, you might be exposed to product liability cases because you're in a moving object, not like when you're sat with your smartphone asking something".

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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primary_ride 12 January 2024

Development and manufacturing costs incurred for one giant screen screen are so much less than all the separate tools, moulds, sub-supplier factories, materials and assembly processes needed to make dials and buttons of an "old-fashioned" instrument cluster and dash. Not to mention the minimised time for climate / durability testing from the lack of moving parts...

Convincing the public as Mr Schäfer is doing that they should want and desire their inifnite screen design "solution" that is obviosuly actually cheaper to develop and make is just another example of disguising cost cutting as "progress". At a future Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant, installing one giant screen from LG = much cheaper and faster than managing the logistics of installing and developing buttons / traditional switchgear with their multiple suppliers & many production steps....Plus how awesome for Mercedes that only one supplier (LG) is liable when that giant screen breaks rather than the dealing with multiple suppliers who make buttons / switches / screens. Lower production & product liability risk at the expense of horrendous user experience yayyy. Whichever design department at an OEM that can fight to use the more expensive old fashioned approaches to interior design (traditional switchgear) will carve out a niche for being a future purveyor of quality & luxury...screens are everywhere these days and that doesnt = luxury / exclusitivity which Mercedes used to represent...In a world of smartwatches there's a reason people still pay thoasands for analogue watches....

Background to the rant, I'm a electronics hardware & software product developer...early 30s and also in the demographic who should love this hyperscreen...but I cannot stand being gaslit to think lazy design and costcutting is progress...and will 100% not bother test driving any future Mercedes with this...


289 12 January 2024

All good points 'primary_ride'

The cost cutting is clear here....however the cost cutting wont extend to the owner, when one 'haptic' button/touch area no longer works, and instead of replacing 'a button' you will have to replace the entire 1.4 metre screen!

Its the same with these new laser or LED auto dimming headlights with countless LED bulbs....none of which can be replaced when they blow. "Whole new headlight sir, are you sitting down while I quote you?"

zzzzzz28 11 January 2024
Did Mercedes designers and executives become fans of Need For Speed Underground 2 and Pimp My Ride 20 years too late?
xxxx 11 January 2024

No doubt it'll appeal to ex Amstad HiFi circa 80's owners.