Mercedes-Benz just unveiled a flashy new interface with a 3-D display and voice control that recognizes slang

Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener shows off a new 3-D interface at CES.

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Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener shows off a new 3-D interface at CES.
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YouTube

  • Mercedes-Benz revealed a new user interface at CES on Tuesday.
  • The interface, called MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), will feature three-dimensional digital displays, a touchscreen, voice control, and over-the-air updates.
  • Mercedes-Benz plans to debut the interface in its upcoming A-Class vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz revealed a new user interface at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Tuesday.

The interface, called MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), will feature three-dimensional digital displays, a touchscreen, voice control, and over-the-air updates. While some of those features are starting to become more common in luxury vehicles, Mercedes-Benz hopes MBUX will separate itself from competitors with its simple, intuitive design.

On the visual side, a digital instrument panel and touchscreen feature minimalist displays that could make it easier for a driver to find and comprehend information or settings. Users will also have the option to view menus in two or three dimensions.

While Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer, didn’t go into detail about how the 3-D display will work, the screen behind him indicated the display would create the illusion of depth, rather than popping out toward the user.

Wagener also demonstrated how drivers would be able to use a graphical representation of their car to make changes to the settings, in addition to text-based menus.

The new MBUX interface will allow users to make changes through a graphical representation of their car.

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The new MBUX interface will allow users to make changes through a graphical representation of their car.
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YouTube

Another distinguishing feature is a voice-control system designed to recognize slang and conversational speech patterns. Sajjad Khan, Mercedes-Benz’s vice president of digital vehicle and mobility, demonstrated how that might work by simulating a weather-related question while on stage.

“Hey Mercedes, can I wear flip-flops tomorrow?” he asked, which prompted what may have been a recording of the voice-control system to respond that the weather would be too cold for flip-flops.

Khan said the system would allow drivers to talk to their cars the same way they might talk to friends, and would update to incorporate new slang terms. Users can also integrate voice-control devices like Google Home and Alexa into the interface.

The digital instrument panel for the new Mercedes-Benz interface.

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The digital instrument panel for the new Mercedes-Benz interface.
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YouTube

Mercedes-Benz will be able to update the interface over the air and plans to debut it in its new A-Class cars, which the company has said it will unveil in February.