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Infotainment: Very well entertained and connected

Mar 9, 2016
An all-new infotainment generation is making its debut in the E-Class equipped with COMAND Online. One of many highlights is the wireless integration of smartphones.
Mercedes-Benz is ushering in a new era of digitalisation and networking in the new E-Class. This includes effortless integration of the smartphone into the vehicle's infotainment system by means of capacitive aerial coupling and wireless charging. This means that mobile phones can be charged wirelessly and at the same time connected to the vehicle's exterior aerial.  This dispenses with the need to find a plug and connect a cable. Simply place the device on the charging pad at the front of the centre console to connect the smartphone by Near Field Communication (NFC) with the multimedia system. The inductive charging pad has the dimensions 153 x 90 millimetres and is suitable for mobile devices that support the Qi standard. There is another advantage: using Near Field Communication, the customer's smartphone becomes the digital vehicle key with which the car can be locked and unlocked as well as started.
The wireless charging system functions with all mobile devices which support or can be upgraded to support the Qi standard. The charging pad is integrated into the quick stowage tray at the front of the centre console. A connection is established between head unit and mobile phone via Near Field Communication (NFC) by touching the "NFC" logo. Phone calls can then be made via the Bluetooth® hands-free system.
Smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto
If the vehicle is equipped with COMAND Online, it is possible to use Apple's smartphone-based infotainment system CarPlay® as well as Google's Android Auto™. If a corresponding smartphone is connected by USB, the customer can, if desired, switch to the CarPlay® or Android Auto interface.
Internet and diverse data sources even in the basic version
In addition to COMAND Online, the Audio 20 USB/GPS infotainment systems are available. Like COMAND Online, they come with a Bluetooth® hands-free system and also have internet capability with a Bluetooth®-capable mobile phone with mobile phone card and data option. This allows internet surfing without restriction when the vehicle is stationary. With COMAND Online, the Mercedes-Benz apps can also be used while driving.
Audio and video playback is possible from various sources with all three variants. For example via Bluetooth® or USB stick. COMAND Online also offers integrated hotspot functionality. It allows passengers in all seats to connect different WiFi-capable devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, to the internet.
Modern-style navigation
The Audio 20 GPS offers entry-level navigation on an SD card. It can be optionally supplemented with the Garmin® MAP PILOT navigation system.
COMAND Online with its own fast 3D hard-drive navigation, topographical map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations makes for a special sensory experience. The system presents its content interactively and its features include an animated compass.
Up to the minute: Live Traffic Information
Whereas the familiar Live Traffic Information was previously reserved for COMAND Online, the new E-Class offers this function with the Audio 20 GPS with GARMIN MAP PILOT SYSTEM. Live Traffic Information allows the reception of up-to-the-minute and accurate traffic information, which is updated by the system every two minutes on the GARMIN MAP PILOT SYSTEM or COMAND Online. Taking the current vehicle location into account when requesting traffic information also ensures that the enquiring vehicles receive all the traffic information of relevance to them. The received traffic information is based on so-called "Floating Car Data" ‒ the key technology for precise acquisition of traffic data.
3D sound with concert hall experience
The Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a special listening experience as standard. It uses the space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers.
The standard audio system has an output of 4 x 25 watts and seven speakers. The Burmester® surround sound system is optionally available for superior listening pleasure. It drives 14 speakers with a 9‑channel DSP amplifier and a total system power of 640 watts. All the speakers are additionally optimised for performance with the premium sound system.
Alternatively, audiophiles can opt for the new Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system. This treats the occupants to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall, for this second-generation sound system additionally uses four roof speakers – two in the front and two in the rear area of the roof. The effect: reflections, which come off the ceiling in a concert hall, are incorporated in the same authentic manner into the sound design of the E-Class. By contrast, other 3D sound systems dispense with roof speakers and use appropriate algorithms to simulate a 3D sound.
Apart from 3D Surround, four other preset sound modes can be selected to suit every taste and audio source:
  • Pure: audiophile sound reproduction with no additional effects, for unadulterated musical enjoyment
  • Live: appealing, dynamic sound background akin to live music
  • Easy listening: milder sound background for relaxed listening over longer periods
  • Surround: virtual surround sound
  • 3D Surround: three-dimensional listening experience provided by the roof speakers
The technical specification of the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system employs 23 high-end speakers with diaphragms of glass-fibre fabric for high level stability, low weight and higher power. Specially developed for their task, the roof speakers are extremely small and flat and radiate sound in all directions. The speaker package includes a 25-litre bass box with its own 400 W amplifier in the boot, two woofer/mid-range speakers in the front doors as well as seven mid-range speakers and ring radiator tweeters of aluminium for precise sound resolution. The tweeters in the front mirror triangle not only fulfil their sound function, but are also design objects: when the sound system is turned on, they revolve out from the mirror triangle into the optimal radiation position. The ambience lighting also transforms them into a visual highlight. Two amplifiers with a total power of 1450 W drive all the speakers individually via separate channels and active crossovers.
A combination of digital and analogue amplifiers contributes to the special listening experience. The analogue technology ensures a warm, round and full sound, while the digital technology uses a separate power supply to produce high peaks in order to enable a high dynamic between the quietest and loudest tones.
As in the S-Class, the sound can be optimally adjusted for every seat position using the so-called VIP setting.
Connected to the car via internet
Under the name "Mercedes me connect ", Mercedes-Benz offers an extensive package of free standard services via a communications module integrated into the vehicle. This module also makes it possible to use the fee-based Remote Online services. The range of services is being expanded continuously.
The free standard services include automatic emergency call (eCall), Accident Recovery, Breakdown Management and Maintenance Management.
The optional Remote Online services allow the driver to connect to their vehicle from anywhere and at any time, to access vehicle information and to remotely activate a variety of functions. The range of functions includes vehicle locating, remote door locking/unlocking and programming of the auxiliary heating. This works both with the Mercedes me app (available for iOS and Android) and via the Mercedes me portal ().