The Mercedes EQS: design for all the senses

The Mercedes EQS: design for all the senses

30.03.2021: The EQS is the all-electric luxury saloon from Mercedes. With it, Mercedes-EQ is redefining this vehicle segment. The EQS is also the first model to be based on the modular architecture for luxury and executive-class electric vehicles.

The EQS is the all-electric luxury saloon from Mercedes. With it, Mercedes-EQ is redefining this vehicle segment. The EQS is also the first model to be based on the modular architecture for luxury and executive-class electric vehicles.

Fusing technology, design, functionality and connectivity, the EQS delights both drivers and passengers. With a Cd value starting from 0.20[1] it sets a new aerodynamic benchmark for production vehicles. Supported by artificial intelligence (AI), it makes their everyday lives easier in many areas.

The EQS is produced together with the S-Class and the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class on a completely carbon-neutral basis in "Factory 56" at the Sindelfingen plant, Mercedes-Benz's most modern automotive production facility. The battery systems are produced at the nearby Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim location in the Hedelfingen plant part. The EQS will be launched in Europe this August.

The EQS can be experienced with almost all the senses. This elevates the all-electric top-of-the-range model to a new dimension in aesthetics and luxury. At the same time, the EQS testifies to the passionate commitment of its developers and designers to electric mobility.

This "Digital Deep Dive Design" presents some of the innovations. Here are the most important ones,
from A for aerodynamics to Z for zero-layer concept:

The Mercedes Management on the EQS

"At Mercedes, we are striving for nothing less than leadership in the field of electric mobility and digitisation through an intelligent platform strategy and a software-based approach. The new EQS shows: we are following our own Mercedes path by offering customers a highly efficient, electric and luxurious experience with our electric vehicles."

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars

"With our EQS, we have created a completely new, future generation of luxury cars. Based on our style of sensual purity, we create desire by combining a beautifully seductive sculpture with the most progressive proportion. Key features such as the 'one-bow' design and a holistically integrated, highly reduced and seamless styling gives the EQS its sporty and progressive look. That's what sets it apart from any other vehicle we have ever created - that's what makes our EQS so extraordinary."

Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler Group

Can be experienced with virtually all human senses

Seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting, these are the classical human senses. The new EQS appeals to the first four in many ways:

    Visual perception:
over 100 million rods and cones are located in the retina of the human eye. These sensory cells enable us to see, for example, the features of the EQS that are revolutionary for the luxury class, such as the cab-forward design or the coupé-like "one-bow" lines with fastback. This clearly distinguishes the EQS from vehicles with combustion engines at first glance and is further emphasised by the Black Panel front and the design of the lights.

    The designers had the mission and the chance to tread a completely new path in styling the interior. They made use of this freedom: the MBUX Hyperscreen is one of the highlights in the new EQS. The concave screen stretches out in front of the occupants from the left to the right A-pillar like an ocean wave. Besides the sheer size, the high-quality, detailed design also guarantees a "wow" effect.

The MBUX Hyperscreen is integrated into the instrument panel in minimalist fashion. Only a thin silver shadow frame, a vent band and a narrow leather frame surround it. The vent band spans across the entire width at the top and is very slim at the same time.

These extreme proportions, together with the glass wave of the MBUX Hyperscreen, create the avant-garde architecture of the cockpit. The calm and clear design of the door panels borrows from the interior design of modern living spaces. Avant-garde as well as traditional materials and colours give the interior a special atmosphere. Another visual highlight is the head-up display with augmented reality content.

    Auditory perception:
people perceive sound waves with their ears. The listening impression of the EQS ranges between comfortable silence and an interactive, sensual sound experience. With a holistic sound production, the sound experts from Mercedes have made the paradigm shift from the combustion engine to the electric car acoustically perceptible. The EQS comes from the factory with two soundscapes: Silver Waves and Vivid Flux. They can be selected or switched off as sound experiences on the central display.

Driver and passengers are already greeted acoustically when approaching the vehicle and when getting in. A corresponding aura sound also accompanies exiting and locking the EQS. The optional driving sound, which is reproduced by the speakers of the sound system in the interior, is also within the respective soundscape. The new ENERGIZING NATURE programmes of ENERGIZING COMFORT also offer an impressively realistic listening experience. The soothing sounds called Forest Glade, Sounds of the Sea and Summer Rain were created in cooperation with nature acoustician Gordon Hempton.

 As with the other ENERGIZING COMFORT programmes, other senses are addressed with lighting moods and images. Streaming services are another alternative to the new type of silence and interactive driving sound in the car: Mercedes-Benz has integrated all the major music streaming services into the MBUX infotainment system with the "Online Music" service.

    Olfactory perceptio
n: scents are constantly being introduced when we breathe. Two systems report odours to the brain independently of each other: millions of receptors in the nasal mucosa and the ends of the trigeminal nerve. The EQS has something against unpleasant odours: its large HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air) not only cleans the outside air very effectively of fine dust, minute particles and pollen.

Special activated charcoals in the HEPA filter and the cabin filter also filter out sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides as well as odours. Due to their pore structure, they have a very large inner surface area. Around 600 grams of activated charcoal are used in the HEPA filter of the EQS. The adsorption area is equivalent to about 150 football fields.

    The active fragrancing of the EQS, which is part of the AIR-BALANCE Package, also appeals to the sense of smell. A new fragrance has been composed for the new top-of-the-range electric model: No.6 MOOD Linen - carried by the green note of a fig lying on a piece of linen.

    Haptic perception
: the skin is the largest human sensory organ. With its help, we perceive touch and feel, for example, whether things are soft or hard, warm or cold, wet or dry. There is a lot to feel in the interior of the EQS: flowing leather surfaces with intricate seam patterns or dynamic perforation; the modern fine structure NEOTEX, which combines the look of nubuck leather and high-tech neoprene; trim elements made of open-pore real wood or in 3D relief look.

The MBUX Hyperscreen's central and passenger displays also offer haptic feedback. If a finger touches certain points on the touchscreen, the user feels pulses on the smooth surface that give the impression of a mechanical switch. Another operating aid is the so-called force feedback of both displays.

Different levels of pressure on the glass change the response. For example, MBUX then jumps to another menu level. Finally, the up to ten different massage programmes of the EQS can be felt not only with individual fingers, but with the whole body. They use the vibration motors in the seats and can also enhance the effect of the relaxing massage with heat based on the hot stone principle. For this purpose, the seat heating is combined with the inflatable air chambers of the multicontour seats.

Able to learn quickly thanks to artificial intelligence (AI)

But the EQS is not only a car that appeals to (almost) all human senses. As an exceptionally intelligent vehicle, it also has many senses itself. Depending on the equipment, up to 350 sensors of various types are used as sensory organs in all parts of the car. They measure distances, speeds and accelerations, lighting conditions, precipitation and temperatures, seat occupancy as well as the driver's eyelid movements or the passengers' language.

This wealth of information is processed by control units that, controlled by algorithms, make decisions at lightning speed. So they are the brain, so to speak. But a lot of information is only useful if you can do something with it. The new EQS can expand its capabilities based on new experiences, because it is highly capable of learning thanks to artificial intelligence (AI).

Here are some examples of how and where AI is improving the customer experience:

    The optional driving sound is interactive, reacting to a good dozen different parameters such as the position of the accelerator pedal, speed or recuperation. The choice of drive program also influences the driving sound. Intelligent sound design algorithms calculate the sounds in the amplifier of the Burmester® surround sound system in real time, and the loudspeakers reproduce them.

    The ENERGIZING COACH recommends one of the ENERGIZING COMFORT programmes Freshness, Warmth, Vitality or Joy depending on the situation and the individual. If the Mercedes-Benz vivoactive® 3 smartwatch, the Mercedes-Benz Venu® smartwatch or another compatible Garmin® wearable is linked, personal values such as stress level or sleep quality optimise the precision of the recommendation.

    The MBUX system proactively shows the right functions for the user at the right time. The context-sensitive awareness is constantly optimised, both by changes in the surroundings and by user behaviour. The so-called zero layer offers the user dynamic, aggregated content from the entire MBUX system, and thus the associated services, on the uppermost level of the MBUX information architecture. The MBUX Interior Assistant recognises operating requests based on movements and in the EQS does so also in the rear.

Mercedes-EQ: leadership in electrification and sustainable production

As part of its "Ambition 2039" initiative, Mercedes-Benz is working on offering a carbon-neutral fleet of new vehicles less than 20 years from now. By as early as 2030, the company intends to sell more than half of its cars with electric powertrain (xEV) - this includes all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The EQS is produced together with the S-Class and the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class on a completely carbon-neutral basis in "Factory 56" at the Sindelfingen plant, Mercedes-Benz's most modern automotive production facility. Fully in line with Ambition 2039, this modern automobile plant is a zero-carbon factory – completely carbon-neutral and with considerably reduced energy requirement. Innovative technologies and processes that optimally assist employees with their daily work have been introduced systematically throughout the building.

Local battery production is a major success factor in the strategic electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz AG – and a crucial element when it comes to being able to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles. As part of the Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems Campus Untertürkheim (Germany, the Hedelfingen plant is responsible for the production of Mercedes-EQ battery systems for the EQS.

Koert Groeneveld,  Mercedes-Benz photos


30.03.2021 / MaP

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