Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new Hyperscreen, a 56-inch IP-display that will debut on its 2022 EQS EV sedan and serve as the visual cornerstone of its MBUX infotainment interface. Revealed as part of M-B’s 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) media runup, the Hyperscreen is the latest salvo in what is likely to be a barrage of dash dominating displays. Byton and Harman have already shown expansive concepts, and Cadillac kicked off the production competition with its 34-inch LG-sourced OLED display in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.
According to M-B, the all-new display will provide “emotional intelligence” for its upcoming all-electric EQS flagship model, and the curved panel will extend nearly the width of the A-pillars. M-B is using the expanded display’s real estate to implement what it calls the “zero-layer” feature, reducing operating steps by eliminating the need to scroll through menus. The screen permits applications that are deemed situationally and contextually important to be visible at all times at the top of the driver’s field of vision. Distraction is also reduced by giving the front passenger their own display space and operating area.
Driving the new Hyperscreen will be the latest version of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), the voice-controlled interface that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and learn-capable software to control the display, adapting to individual users to make personalized suggestions for vehicle functions, infotainment and HVAC settings. MBUX first appeared on the 2018 A-Class, its second generation launched in the latest S-Class sedan, and according to Mercedes, the system will come into its own with the massive new screen in the EQS.
The new system, “is both the brain and nervous system of the car,” said Sajjad Khan, CTO of Mercedes-Benz AG. With use, Khan noted, the MBUX system “gets to know the customer,” so that it can tailor and personalize infotainment and operating offerings, “without the occupant needing to click or scroll anywhere.”
Like the setup in the Cadillac Escalade, the curved Hyperscreen is composed of several OLED displays arranged to appear seamless. All display components are encapsulated by a continuous plastic front frame, including ambient lighting and circular air vents integrated through the glass display surface, which measures 377 in2 (2,077 cm2). The glass cover is coaxed into its three-dimensional curves during a 1,202°F (650°C) molding process to create distortion-free views from any seating position.
The curved glass is composed of scratch-resistant aluminum silicate, 12 actuators beneath the touchscreen provide haptic feedback via tangible vibration, and two coatings reduce reflectivity and ease cleaning. Crash safety aspects engineered into the Hyperscreen include predetermined breaking points along the side openings in addition to five honeycomb fasteners designed to yield in a pre-determined fashion.
The Hyperscreen MBUX system is driven by an 8-core CPU supported by 24 gigabytes (GB) of RAM. To seamlessly animate the large screen, the system’s RAM bandwidth is an impressive 46.4 GB per second. Nvidia supplies GPUs that manage both graphics and AI processing, and the screen uses an embedded multifunction camera and a light sensor to continuously adapt screen brightness to ambient conditions.
To reduce screen interaction, the EQS’s MBUX system will use AI to proactively display desired functions at the appropriate time. The context-sensitive algorithm is continuously optimized, both by changes in surroundings and user behavior, attempting to keep the most relevant content visible on the screen’s “zero-layer,” which is extensive thanks to the Hyperscreen’s acreage.
“We have invented a new interface that brings design and technology together,” explained Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of the Daimler Group. “In addition to cool hardware, the content and handling are also crucial, i.e., what we show on the screen unit and how it can be used by the customer. The most important and most-commonly used interactions can be operated on a single, top-level. You rarely have to dive into submenus and thus shorten the interaction time.”
Mercedes-Benz research on its first-gen MBUX system showed most use cases fall into navigation, radio/media and phone categories, so the navigation application remains at the center of the screen with full functionality. If relevant, more than 20 other functions – from active massage to birthday reminders and to-do list suggestions – are offered automatically via artificial intelligence “magic modules,” which is the developer name for the suggestions shown on the zero-layer.
Two examples: If a driver regularly uses the heated steering wheel and heated-seat functions together, the system suggests enabling the heated steering wheel as soon as the user turns on the heated seat; The system also remembers the GPS position where the “raise vehicle” function was engaged to gain more ground clearance (such as a steep driveway entrance), and as the vehicle approaches this location again it would suggests activating this function.
“It is connected to all components of the vehicle and communicates with them,” Khan explained of the architecture. “The goal was a concept without distraction of the driver or creating complicated operation. And it had to be able to learn thanks to artificial intelligence: We didn't want to build the biggest screen ever in a car. Instead, we have developed special screens with a perfect ratio of size and functionality for maximum user-friendliness.”Continue reading »