The new EQS SUV: MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience)

Apr 19, 2022

With the EQS Saloon, MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) reached a new level. The second generation of this system is also used in the EQS SUV. With adaptive software, the display and operating concept adapts completely to its users and makes personalised suggestions for numerous infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions. With the zero-layer design, the user does not have to scroll through submenus or give voice commands. The key applications are always offered on the top level in the field of vision, depending on the situation and context. This relieves the driver of numerous operating steps. The immersive Dolby Atmos® sound system revolutionises the sound experience and expands the classic surround sound. It is available with the Burmester® surround sound system.

The infotainment systems offer numerous and extensive functions. Several operating steps are often required to control them. In order to reduce these interactive steps even further, Mercedes-Benz employed artificial intelligence to develop a user interface with context-sensitive awareness.

The MBUX system proactively displays the right functions at the right time for the user, supported by artificial intelligence. The context-sensitive awareness is constantly optimised, both by changes in the surroundings and by user behaviour. The 'zero layer' offers the user dynamic, aggregated content from the entire MBUX system, and thus the associated services, on the uppermost level of the MBUX information architecture.

The navigation application with its full range of functions is therefore always in the centre of the display unit. Over 20 other functions – from ENERGIZING COMFORT to birthday reminders and suggestions for the to-do list – are automatically offered with the help of artificial intelligence when they are relevant to the customer. The developers have internally christened these suggestion modules displayed on the zero-layer interface "magic modules".

Here are five representative use cases. The user can accept or reject the respective suggestion with just one click:

  • When approaching a charging station that is enabled for Plug & Charge, the magic module 'Charging' automatically appears. The driver can then start charging immediately.
  • If someone always calls one particular friend on the way home on Tuesday evenings, in future they will always receive a suggestion regarding this particular call on this day of the week and at this time. A business card appears with their contact information and – if this is stored – their photo. All the suggestions from MBUX are linked with the profile of the user. If someone else is driving the EQS SUV on a Tuesday evening, this recommendation will not be made - or another one will be made, depending on the preferences of the other user.
  • If the driver regularly uses the hot stone massage function in winter, the system learns and automatically suggests the comfort function for winter temperatures.
  • If the user regularly switches on the heating of the steering wheel in addition to the seat heating, for example, this is suggested to them as soon as they activate the seat heating.
  • The chassis of the EQS SUV can be raised to provide more ground clearance. A useful function for steep driveways or speed bumps on the ground for traffic calming ("sleeping policemen"). MBUX remembers the GPS position where the user has made use of the "Raise Vehicle" function. If the vehicle approaches this GPS position again, MBUX automatically suggests raising the EQS SUV.

MBUX: a milestone as the interface between driver, passengers and vehicle

The EQS SUV features the latest MBUX generation. As standard, the EQS 450+ (WLTP: combined power consumption: 23.0‑18.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)[1] is equipped with a 12.3-inch driver's display and a 12.8-inch central display in portrait format. The impressive MBUX Hyperscreen (see next chapter for details) is available as an option. There, the front passenger also has their own screen.

Hey Mercedes: the voice assistant can now do even more

Compared with the previous MBUX generation, the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant is even more capable of dialogue and learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App[2]. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword "Hey Mercedes". These include taking a telephone call. "Hey Mercedes" now also explains vehicle functions, and can help when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found, for example. Compatible home technology and household devices can also be networked with the vehicle thanks to the smart home function and controlled from the vehicle by voice. "Hey Mercedes" is now also able to recognise vehicle occupants by their voices. Once the individual characteristics of the voice have been learned, this can be used to access personal data and functions by activating a profile.

The voice assistant in the EQS SUV can also be operated from the rear. In general, rear passengers experience the same comprehensive infotainment and comfort offerings as the driver and front passenger. They have up to two rear-seat screens plus a tablet and a wide range of intuitive controls.

MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment Plus: comfort like in the front row

Screen content can be quickly and easily shared with other passengers. Selection and modification of navigation destinations also is possible from the rear seats. MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment Plus comprises two 11.6-inch displays with touch controls on the backrests of the driver and front passenger seats. The MBUX rear tablet is also optionally available. It is a fully fledged tablet and can also be used outside the vehicle. In addition, apps (Android) can be installed. With this convenient remote control, all rear seat entertainment functions can be comfortably controlled from any seat position.

Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, the MBUX Interior Assistant recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It interprets which way the head points, hand movements and body language and reacts with appropriate vehicle functions. As well as enhancing operating convenience, the MBUX Interior Assistant improves safety. If it is switched on, the vehicle exit warning of Blind Spot Assist is already issued when a hand approaches the door handle. It can also detect a child seat on the front passenger seat and signal on the central display if the vehicle seat belt is not buckled.

Dolby Atmos®: Close to the real live music experience

The Dolby Atmos immersive sound system® takes the audio experience in the EQS SUV to a new level. Individual instruments or voices of the studio mix can be placed all around the listening area. A new kind of sound animation thus becomes possible: This is because while conventional stereo systems usually have a left-right dynamic, Dolby Atmos® can use the entire space and create a 360-degree experience.

Dolby Atmos® is offered with the Burmester® surround sound system, which has 15 speakers.

Online music: music streaming with millions of songs to choose from

Mercedes-Benz has completely integrated many music streaming providers into the MBUX infotainment system with the "Online Music"[3] service. MBUX enables access to the personal user profile at the linked music providers. This allows customers to seamlessly access their favourite songs and playlists and discover millions of songs as well as curated playlists. Operation is intuitive using the MBUX voice assistant via "Hey Mercedes" and via touch controls on the steering wheel or central display.

Personalisation is simple and convenient

A personal profile can be created directly in the EQS SUV and synchronised with existing profile data in the Mercedes me account. By scanning a QR code with the Mercedes me App, the vehicle is automatically connected to the Mercedes me account.

Personal preferences such as a favourite radio station and preselected settings can be transferred to any seat via the personal Mercedes me profile. Up to seven different profiles with a total of around 800 parameters are possible in the vehicle. The ambient lighting can be individually set by remote configuration, e.g. from home. As the profiles are stored in the cloud as part of Mercedes me, the profiles can also be used in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the new MBUX generation.

In addition to the classic entry of a PIN, a special authentication procedure ensures a high level of security. Fingerprint, face and voice recognition are combined. This allows access to individual settings or verification of digital payment processes from the vehicle.

[1] Data on power consumption and range are provisional and have been voluntarily determined internally in accordance with the "WLTP test procedure" certification method. There are no confirmed figures from an officially recognised testing organisation to date. Deviations from the final data are possible.

[2] To use the Mercedes me connect services, customers must create a Mercedes me ID and agree to the terms of use for the Mercedes me connect services. The services shown and their availability and functionalities depend in particular on the vehicle model, year of manufacture, selected special equipment and country.

[3] In order to be able to use the Online Music service, customers will require a separate personal contract with a selected streaming provider.