The future of cars: Mercedes to release 2021 S Class model with AR navigation and 3D eye tracking

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As the years have passed, technology has progressed leaps and bounds, which in turn, has undeniably helped reinvent the wheel and changed life as we know it today. Without the use of technology, our world would be very different. Although some believe the advancement of technology has harmed our lives, there are some genuinely remarkable steps it has allowed us to take.

Technology has helped to advance almost every industry in the world, and the automotive industry is one. Many manufacturers have toyed with the idea of using advanced technologies such as AR and VR in their cars and, while many have made significant progress, Mercedes- Benz is now pioneering the industry with game-changing technology. 

If history tells us anything, it’s that Mercedes have long sought after ways of integrating immersive technology into their cars. The German manufacturers have experimented many times with AR and VR technology and developed an AR owner manual as well as a VR car buying experience. Their more recent creation was an AR vehicle tour using multiple 360-degree videos. 

Mercedes Benz is now taking another leap with AR technology and implementing it into their luxury vehicles. The brand has made some notable improvements to their advanced MBUX vehicle infotainment system which users can enjoy later this year as they launch their 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class which will include new state of the art technology. 

Mercedes’s infotainment system has taken all the best elements of other systems such as Amazon, Google, and Apple and transferred it into a vehicle, allowing users to use the technology from our homes and smartphones on the road. They have increased voice controls which can carry out functions that would typically be the task of a button, making the interior of the car minimalist and sleek.

One of the most significant improvements is their 3D eye-tracking technology. The 3D instrument cluster is thought to use a stereo camera which helps to track the driver’s eyes with the ability to create a 3D-looking interface. The system still uses a traditional LCD display which combined with an LCD aperture grille, that is placed a few millimeters ahead of the display. The aperture grille adjusts itself as the diver moves their head. This means both eyes will see something slightly different, creating a 3D stereoscopic effect. As with all things, new technology can take some getting used to, and so, the three-dimensional dash cluster can be turned off. 

The new S-Class will see the infotainment screen placed down from the dash into the center stack of the car’s interior. The 12.8inch OLED display screen will also have new swiping gesture controls and has replaced the old 27 buttons present in past models. The new layout is an improvement in comparison to the current version of MBUX as it sits more like a tablet, giving users more convenient access to significant features. 

The new AR navigation system will also give drivers an enhanced head-up display that projects vital navigational information directly within the driver’s eye line. This includes information such as directions, distance to a target destination, and vehicle speed. The system also alerts drivers of upcoming streets, using arrows that help indicate which direction the driver needs to turn and is displayed on the front windshield. By doing so, Mercedes have eradicated the need for using smartphones as GPS devices and have in turn, helped to make our roads safer. 

Some added futuristic features included in the “Hey Mercedes” voice-activated assistant. These include three backseat touch screens allowing passengers to have control over sharing media, setting navigation, biometric security, and advanced gesture control. This leans towards safety for the driver as passengers can set their own destinations without interrupting the driver and can work great for services such as Uber. 

The possibility of including new technologies in vehicles will be pivotal as many other brands will follow suit. The use of AR technology can potentially help make our roads safer. Still, many critics argue the use of heightened technology in cars will complicate a simple task such as driving, turning it into an experience rather than a necessity, leading to more vehicles on the road. Some also argue that the use of technology will make drivers more reliant on it, making them less safe drivers. As with all things new, only time will tell how successful Mercedes new technology is but, for now, the new MBUX system is most definitely a game-changer. 

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