New control and display concept: Multifunctional touchpad with gesture control

The Mercedes-Benz V-Class sees the arrival of the very latest control and display concept in this segment. The major innovation is the multifunctional touchpad on the dashboard. Like a smartphone, it can be controlled using gestures or by inputting letters and numbers. In addition to this, control and display elements that have already been used successfully in numerous Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series are celebrating their premiere in this segment, including COMAND Online with COMAND Controller (rotary pushbutton), the DIRECT SELECT lever on the steering wheel, the central display and the colour display in the instrument cluster. 
The newly designed control and display concept is easy and intuitive to use. The control logic and various switch elements have been taken from the new S-Class and are therefore based on the highest levels of user-friendliness and ergonomics. These include the elegant rocker switches on the air conditioning control panel, the pull/push switch modules for the power windows in the door panels and the rotary light switch. 
Innovative touchpad with new recognition technology 
The touchpad newly developed by Mercedes-Benz is available for vehicles equipped with Audio 20 CD or COMAND Online. It is located together with the central control panel and the COMAND Controller below the central display on the dashboard. The touch-sensitive area, made of scratch-resistant plastic in high-gloss black with a silver shadow real metal surround, blends stylishly into the interior design concept and has the look of a high-quality tablet PC. All telematics functions can be controlled intuitively using gestures or by handwriting. The touchpad therefore offers an additional input option over and above the COMAND Controller and the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control. 
The multitouch sensor system recognises one and two-finger gestures such as scrolling, swiping or zooming by spreading or bringing together the fingers. To prevent incorrect entries and increase operating safety, the Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed a new recognition technology that evaluates the sensor signal three-dimensionally. Particular importance was attached to correct identification of the speed when developing the gesture recognition. The V-Class driver can therefore use slow or fast gestures, which lead to different but also reliable movements of the cursor. 
Furthermore, users can input letters, symbols and numbers in their natural handwriting thanks to the character detection feature. The touchpad recognises the characters and uses them automatically - for navigation destinations, for example. This speeds up input and generates high added value. There is another advantage: the new telematics control concept with touchpad allows a reduction in the number of buttons in the head unit, making for a tidier appearance. 
Ease of operation is also enhanced by three touch-sensitive buttons behind the 65 x 45 mm touch surface, which can be used to call up key functions quickly and directly: the "Back" function, the "Favourites" menu and the short audio menu. The user receives clear haptic feedback when using the operating area or the buttons. To make the system easier to use at night, both the symbols and the borders of the operating area are illuminated indirectly. 
Neat and tidy command centre: instrument cluster with multifunction colour display 
The instrument cluster consists of two large, analogue circular instruments, each with one small bar graph. The multifunction colour display for the on-board computer information is located between the two circular instruments and displays control and warning messages, especially those from the numerous driver assistance systems such as DISTRONIC PLUS, Traffic Sign Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. There are also comfort indications, the trip computer and messages about operating states. 
Central display: high resolution and colour 
The information from the telematics system is shown on a high-resolution central display. As in numerous new Mercedes-Benz passenger car models, it is free-standing and located above the central ventilation outlets and the air conditioning control panel. 
Two display variants are available, depending on equipment: In combination with the Audio 20 USB or Audio 20 CD system, the monitor diagonal measures 17.8 centimetres. The frame is finished in high-gloss black. A display with a 21.3-centimetre diagonal and high-brilliance resolution is installed in combination with the COMAND Online system. In this case, the frame is galvanised in silver shadow. This display is equipped with special, bonded cover glass. The anti-glare mineral glass is directly joined to the surface of the TFT display using an optical adhesive and a lamination process, so ensuring that no air or dust can get between the display and the glass. This added complexity reduces optical distortion and reflections to almost nothing. The resulting image is particularly detailed and high in contrast. 
In addition to manual brightness setting via the COMAND Online menu, both displays have a light sensor for automatic brightness control. As well as displaying telematics functions, the screen available in combination with COMAND Online can display photos and allows manual scrolling similar to a slideshow. New display forms also allow easy control when listening to music. The Coverflow function, for instance, sorts the cover images of the stored music albums in carousel-like form so that the V-Class driver can easily scroll through their music collection. This collection can be very large as there are 10.8 gigabytes of memory available for compressed audio files (mp3, wma, aac).