Mercedes-Benz has always been considered an industry leader when it comes to technological advances. The German automaker certainly proved its worth at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show when it dropped a boatload of new tech features designed to combine modern mobility with the continued evolution of the digital world.

The all-new Mercedes E-Class, or should I say, the interior of the all-new E-Class, is one of Mercedes’ main showcases at CES. Ahead of the sedan’s world premier at the 2016 North American International Auto Show later next week, the revolutionary cockpit of the new E-Class was displayed for all the world to see, including its new infotainment system that Merc promises will usher in a new era of networking and digitization. Among the highlights of this new system is a touch control on the multifunction steering wheel made up of a pair of panels that function the same way as the surface of a smartphone. Just like how we use swiping movements to navigate the interface of our phones, these two panels work the same way, allowing drivers to scroll through the menus of the instrument cluster and the central display without their hands leaving the steering wheel.

Mercedes says it’s the first automaker to offer a system of that sort in a car, and with the company’s reputation for ingenious creations like this, I’m inclined to believe it. Also, from a presentation standpoint, the new E-Class will also benefit from having a digital instrument cluster that has a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. Even better, the screen design can be customized with three different designs - Classic, Sport, or Progressive - depending on the preference of the driver.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Mercedes-Benz Highlights The E-Class' New Infotainment System, Touts "Mercedes Me" High Resolution AutoShow
- image 660973

The other important addition to the new E-Class is wireless charging, allowing the driver or the passengers to charge their devices by simply placing them on a charging area that can be found on the front part of the center console. The charging area is compatible with all mobile devices that support the Qi standard. More importantly, mobile phones that are being charged are immediately connected to the car’s multimedia system, essentially empowering these phones to become a digital key that can start the car and lock/unlock the doors. Users of the iPhone or any Android-powered phone need not worry too since the E-Class supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Mercedes also had a few more announcements worth mentioning. One is “Mercedes Me”, a new approach to individual customer contact that provides a wealth of new products and services designed to shrink the gap between people, their cars, and Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker believes that Mercedes Me will be able to redefine the relationship of all these parties by opening customers to a world of services that extend far beyond their own vehicles. In fact, Mercedes has already opened some Mercedes Me stores since 2014 and used its exhibit stand at CES as its own Mercedes Me pop-up store.

Apparently, Mercedes-Benz just couldn’t wait until the Detroit Auto Show to proudly showcase some of the technological goodies it added into the cockpit of the new E-Class. I can’t really blame the company for doing this because, as presently described, these innovations are all incredible.

I love the idea of being able to control and navigate the infotainment system from the steering wheel. Being able to do that eliminates the need to stretch out your hands and control the infotainment system through touch screen. With these two panels firmly entrenched into the steering wheel, it becomes easier and faster to use the infotainment system. It also cuts down the possibility of a driver getting distracted by having to use the system and drive at the same time. Now he can do it simultaneously. Brilliant! I’ll be honest. I’m surprised that nobody thought of this sooner.

As for the wireless charging, it’s not really a revolutionary breakthrough for the industry, but it’s nice to see Mercedes using this feature and adding on to it by enabling the mobile device to function as a digital key. Not that it’s going to be a big help in the grand scheme of things, but it could prove to be useful under the right circumstances.

Mercedes E-Class

Watch The Live Unveiling Of The Mercedes E-Class Here
- image 660560

Read our full review on the Mercedes E-Class here.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: