Large touchscreens are becoming increasingly common in new cars, and the larger these rectangular screens become, the fewer things you can do with the hardware to truly differentiate yourself from the competition, according to the auto industry. Possibly as a result, in the new Mercedes-Benz AMG SL Roadster, which will debut in 2022, Mercedes-Benz is removing the screen from the dashboard and mounting it to the centre console, allowing it to electronically flip up and down.
That’s right, Mercedes-newest Benz’s vehicle is equipped with a flippable screen. The company claims that it designed the 11.9-inch portrait touchscreen in this manner to help combat glare — after all, the AMG SL Roadster is a convertible — but it’s also clearly a flashy parlour trick that appears to say, “Hey, we did something different from Tesla.”
In addition, the new AMG SL Roadster has a digital instrument cluster that is distinct from the rest of the lineup. Located behind the steering wheel in a “visor,” which Mercedes-Benz describes as “aviation-inspired,” is a 12.3-inch screen. Essentially, it’s a screen that’s been embedded even deeper into the dashboard than normal, which, of course, aids in reducing glare while driving. (Something tells me that there was a recurring theme in the most recent customer feedback sessions…)…
The shift to larger screens in automobiles has placed a strong emphasis on software, which is why automakers ranging from Polestar to Ford are turning to tech behemoths like Google for assistance. However, in a similar vein to the current state of the smartphone market, the hardware has truly come together. This has made it possible for innovative new ideas to stand out.
It reminds me a lot of Samsung’s folding phones, in that it feels more like an experiment than something that will become popular (I’m personally curious to see how well it holds up to being poked and prodded — it’s presumably not going to wobble, but you never know with these things). Nonetheless, Mercedes-Benz is taking a risk that is worth watching in the long run.