Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is that a Mercedes or Knight Rider?

Mercedes-Benz is renown for their elite and polished line of luxury automotives. They stay consistent with pushing the envelop of not just what a car can do, but what a car can be. Proof in point, the auto juggernaut has released a video of their concept A-class model. The kicker, you can plug your smart phone into the car’s interface like it was a cassette deck.

The car looks like a future-infused update of the Mercedes-Benz style, adorned with enough neon led lighting and fringe to make the Batman Forever ride look like a hot mess. Sporting a holographic dashboard display, the concept vehicle is aimed toward the growing demand of young blood consumers (who Mercedes deem “Digital Natives”) who have lobbied in loud vocals for a ride that can double as an outlet for their social networking. Mercedes answered the consumer cries by developing an “infotainment system” in their prototype that links with your smart phone by sliding it into a slot. Once linked, you can do everything from updating Facebook and playing your music to listening to an automaton read your e-mails out loud.

Mercedes has stated that they wanted to continue the driver’s outside technologically social lifestyle when they step into their vehicle. While some have expressed concern with the new system disrupting the driver’s attention, Mercedes has ensured such concerns have been addressed. They believe the knob based menu (similar to the one they use for their GPS navigation display) will minimize driver distraction.

With all this new technology being explored and applied, one can’t help but feel reminiscent of the Kit car from Knight Rider. Mercedes-Benz is keeping their rider in the concept lab for further development, however. Until the car goes into mass manufacturing, we won’t know if the class-A’s infotainment system is really an innovation. Until that day, we can only dream.

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