Control and display concept: Easy operation, numerous possibilities

Jul 19, 2017

Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, touchpad, direct access keys or voice input: the control concept of the S-Class offers a variety of options. Drivers are able to choose the control method they prefer, which enhances both comfort and safety.

The interior of the new S-Class is characterised by the two new high-resolution displays, each with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. The two displays visually blend into a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared glass cover.

Like the instrument cluster, this wide-screen cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver, as well as a central display above the centre console. Because the cockpit is fully digital, the driver can choose from three different display styles ("Classic", "Sporty" and "Progressive“) and also configure the information and views relevant to them at will.

The new S-Class has touch-sensitive Touch Control buttons in the steering wheel. They respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The operation of DISTRONIC and cruise control with control elements directly on the steering wheel is another new feature.

Numerous functions can also be operated using the touchpad with controller in the centre console. A touch-sensitive telephone keypad is integrated into the touchpad. Thanks to haptic impulses and audible feedback from the onboard speakers, the driver can use the touchpad without taking their eyes off the road. The input options are rounded off by direct access keys for frequent control operations in front of the rotary pushbutton, and by the control array for the driving assistance systems to the left of the steering wheel.

Using the remote control, the functions of the infotainment systems COMAND Online can also be conveniently controlled from the rear. This relieves the workload of the driver, who can concentrate fully on the traffic.

LINGUATRONIC voice control has for the first time been extended to include vehicle functions. Voice commands can now also be used to control the air conditioning and seat heating/ventilation, interior lighting (ambience lighting, reading lights, lighting in the rear), fragrancing/ionisation, seat massage function and head-up display (see also chapter on infotainment system).

With the head-up display, the driver has all the important information to hand without taking their eyes off the road. The head-up display projects a virtual image measuring around 21 x 7 cm into the driver's field of vision. In the driver's perception, it appears to float above the bonnet around two metres in front. The image is high-resolution and in colour. Depending on the equipment level, it shows e.g. navigation instructions, vehicle speed, speed limits or the settings for cruise control or Active Distance Control DISTRONIC. A special light sensor adjusts the brightness of the display to the ambient light conditions. This ensures good legibility even on sunny days or at night. The height of the image can be varied to suit drivers of any size. The height setting is stored in combination with the memory function for the seats. The display content and brightness can also be selected individually.

The Smartphone Integration package with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto integrates the smartphone into the vehicle's control and display concept.

In the wireless charging system for smartphones (see also chapter on infotainment system), they are connected by NFC (Near Field Communication) when the NFC logo (touchpoint) is touched.

With the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, manual gear shifts are possible using the DIRECT SELECT steering wheel shift paddles .

All S-Class models are equipped with the KEYLESS-GO start function as standard. The engine can be switched on and off simply by pressing the KEYLESS start/stop button while simultaneously applying the brake pedal. The KEYLESS-GO package is a convenient access system where the driver only needs to carry the electronic key on their person. All the doors can be unlocked and locked by touching the door handle, without having to hold the key. In addition, the convenience function HANDS-FREE ACCESS allows hands-off, fully automatic opening and closing of the boot lid by performing a kicking movement under the rear bumper. This is particularly useful if e.g. coming from a shopping trip with hands full when the key is in one's pocket. Another advantage of the KEYLESS-GO package is the handle recess illumination. This makes the door handles immediately recognisable in poor lighting conditions.