Occupants can talk to the vehicle using a more advanced form of natural speech. A demonstration showed that a driver using the activation phrase can say, for example, "Hey Mercedes. I'm bored," upon which the vehicle suggests playing a geography quiz.
Experts say such virtual assistants can help bind customers more emotionally to a vehicle -- and therefore, the brand.
The 12.8-inch central console, with one of up to five displays in the front and rear of the sedan, is roughly 64 percent larger than in the previous S-Class. A portrait format offers crisper resolution and brighter colors thanks to organic light emitting diodes.
The cockpit display behind the steering wheel is 12.3 inches.
The S-Class comes optional with a head-up display that overlaps navigational directions onto the windshield through augmented reality. Mercedes says the effect is equivalent in size to a 77-inch diagonal display.
Drivers can save individual profiles to avoid adjusting various systems each time. The S-Class can identify either through speech, fingerprint analysis or facial recognition software who is operating the vehicle and adjust the seating and steering preferences upon entry.
At night, a new Digital Light feature can cast symbols onto the road with the help of intelligent front headlights that play a black and white video, much like a movie projector. The S-Class could, for example, display an image of a bulldozer to alert the driver to a construction site in the darkness, or illuminate a pedestrian on the side of the road to warn of an upcoming hazard.
Blind spot detection
Mercedes says it has also further developed the car's blind spot detector. Should a driver open a door as a cyclist is about to pedal by, ambient lighting in the door panel flashes red to warn the exiting occupant and prevent an accident.
Mercedes has not neglected the interior. With the new S-Class, designers aimed to create characteristics of a lounge.
While the more popular long-wheelbase version gained 34 mm in length, the wheelbase has grown by 51 mm to 3,216 mm, for more space in the cabin.
The front seats have up to 19 separate motors for adjustments, air circulation and massage features. In tandem with inflatable air bladders built into the backrest, the vehicle offers 10 massage programs that are ergonomically certified.
Mercedes says the S-Class’s handling is also improved thanks to new rear axle features, which among other things have reduced the turning radius for the long-wheelbase version by almost 2 meters to 10.9 meters, far better than most cars its size.
An electric 48-volt pump replaces the previous hydraulic one to more quickly adjust ride height. In combination with the air suspension, Mercedes says it offers a smoother ride, since it can continuously adjust to various road surfaces.