Mercedes-Benz EQC Trailblazes Cockpit of the Future

German automaker unveils all-electric SUV with MBUX infotainment system powered by NVIDIA.
by Katie Burke

Four years in the making, Mercedes-Benz’s first all-electric SUV looks smart, and acts it.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC — introduced by Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche Tuesday in Stockholm — kickstarts the automaker’s new line of electric vehicles. At the center of the zero-emissions luxury vehicle is the AI-rich MBUX infotainment system, powered by NVIDIA.

“This is a new generation of Mercedes,” Zetsche said. “It brings together design, usability, services and convenience in a new and unique way.”

MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience, was first introduced in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class in February. Blazing a trail for cockpits of the future, the AI-powered infotainment system relies on lightning-fast hardware and software for real-time 3D graphics and natural language processing.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC features the AI-powered MBUX infotainment system.

Say No More: The Power of Natural Language Understanding

MBUX delivers all the information drivers and passengers need via a smooth, easy-to-understand interface spread across two 10.25-inch digital displays. A combination of 3D graphics and augmented reality navigation offer a comprehensive cockpit display, so drivers always know what’s on the road ahead.

The system easily understands verbal commands using AI-powered natural language processing, facilitating effortless interactions between the driver, passengers and the car.

This makes voice interactions in the cockpit much more natural. Rather than requiring a rigid set of commands, the driver can simply say, “I’m cold, make it warmer.” Drivers can focus their attention on the road rather than repeating commands or turning knobs on a center console.

‘Amazing Usability’

The Mercedes-Benz EQC presents drivers with a viable alternative to internal combustion engines, said Zetsche. It combines “awesome looks with amazing usability.” That’s thanks to  a clear design language that’s consistent from the vehicle’s exterior to its cockpit.

With over-the-air software updates, MBUX can constantly learn, providing more individualized and convenient features. Over time, the car’s usability improves, learning patterns like a preferred route home or displaying the latest information on a favorite coffee shop.

The MBUX system will be a standard feature in the EQC, which will enter series production next year and will be available to U.S. customers in 2020.