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Mercedes-Benz That’s Infotainment Better than BMW with Wireless CarPlay

A new expert UX evaluation from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has assessed the Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system. Incorporating a highly personalized experience for the instrument cluster as well as the center stack, MBUX includes Mercedes-Benz’s digital assistant for navigation, media, and select in-vehicle tasks. A ‘Mercedes Me’ companion app provides additional functionality, while wireless CarPlay provides even more choice. The most impressive and useful personalization option in the instrument cluster is the ability to display information in the center of the cluster, and then expand it to the full display. But the MBUX digital assistant can improve in providing more helpful rejection responses, particularly around connected media.

Key report findings include:

  • HERE-powered navigation provides contextual results and self-learning capabilities which also permeate other features within the infotainment system.
  • A flat structure in which each feature can be accessed by three steps or less is central to its ease of use. Two shortcuts for each feature on the main screen provide even quicker access.
  • But while MBUX excels in many areas, it is not without some faults. The digital assistant can provide better feedback when rejecting an utterance, the touchpads on the steering wheel are still not ideal interactions and messaging was not available for the very common smartphone used in the evaluation.

“Overall, the MBUX system provides a simple-to-use, highly personal experience that is vastly superior to any previous Mercedes Benz system. Mercedes has completely redesigned its infotainment strategy and introduced their most compelling infotainment offering by far,” said Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP and report author.

“A key strength of MBUX is its implementation into Mercedes’ A-Class vehicle range, which is marketed toward younger consumers. Typically OEMs introduce their systems into their super premium models first, whose buyers tend to skew older. But MBUX is perfectly positioned for the segment it is targeting.”

Added Kevin Nolan, VP UXIP, “Overall, MBUX provides an exceptionally easy to use system that surpasses the BMW 7-Series and challenges the Tesla Model S for Strategy Analytics’ top overall infotainment system.”

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