New Mercedes Steering Wheel Is A High-Tech Wonder

Teaser / 2 Comments

It also looks extremely cool.

Mercedes-Benz continues to tease its updated Mercedes E-Class coupe and convertible, both of which are slated to be fully revealed this Wednesday, with more details showing a brief video of the vehicles' new and high-tech steering wheel. Yes, the new wheel is still just that, a round wheel, but it also features the innovative capacitive hands-off detection system. Here's what it involves.

The wheel features a two-zone sensor mat at the bottom that's capable of detecting whether or not the driver's hands are gripping the wheel. This tech replaces the old active steering movement which required the driver to physically move to signal to the assistance systems they were in control. The new system, however, doesn't require the driver to move the wheel at all in order for the system to know whether they are in control. How does this work?

2017-2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Front View Mercedes-Benz

That sensor mat located under the wooden or leather cover features two sensors, one in front and one in back of the wheel. Touching the steering wheel causes the sensors to detect a change in capacitance. If the driver isn't holding the wheel hard enough, the system won't detect a touch. If one's hands aren't touching the steering wheel at all for an extended period of time, then the system will initiate a warning sequence.

If the driver fails to respond, the system will automatically engage the vehicle's Emergency Stop Assist. Along with explaining how the system works, Mercedes also wants us to get a closer look at the steering wheel's cool new design.

2017-2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Dashboard Mercedes-Benz

Two new versions in leather trim will be offered, both with leather trim. The three-spoke design in high-gloss black is inspired by Callas flowers and is framed by a rim finished in Silver Shadow. The controls are located on the so-called "chalice leaves." Those who opt for an AMG Line E-Class coupe or convertible will have their steering wheel controls located on two double-decker spokes whose design is inspired by wheel lug nuts form sports cars.

Because both vehicles are only receiving a mid-life refresh, interior updates are being kept to a minimum, though the MBUX infotainment system replaces the dated Comand system. The new steering wheels will be the most noticeable of all the changes.


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