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Editor’s note: This article was updated on 6/8/2023. 

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz car and SUV lineup has some interesting new features. More specifically, the innovating new head-up display technology. Dubbed the “Augmented Reality Head-Up Display” or AR-HUD, the new display features driving assistance and even step-by-step navigation. Expect to see this tech in the newest Mercedes cars and sport utility vehicles.

What sets the new Mercedes-Benz technology apart?

Mercedes has a habit of leading the way with cutting-edge technology. The new Augmented Reality Head-Up Display is no different. Head-up technology is not new in itself, but the way Mercedes is implementing it into the 2021 lines is. Auto Evolution noted that the 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was the first with this technology, followed by a color HUD option in the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette C5.

Almost all of the information you could want while driving is now displayed right in front of your eyes on the new 2021 S Class. The Active Distance Driving feature glows green around the car in front of you when there is enough space between the two cars. That glows red when you get too close.

Active Lane Keeping Assist displays a red line along the side of the road when you get too far off track. It also shows the shape of the road and the direction you are heading. An arrow guides you left or right when the road turns. This would be especially helpful on twisty and unfamiliar roads. Safety is key for the 2021 Mercedes lineup.

For those who need a little extra help along the way, meet Augmented Reality Navigation

Augmented Reality Navigation follows a series of arrows that will take you around a corner or a roundabout. They move quickly to ensure you can follow the directions at the proper rate of speed you are traveling at. These arrows can be displayed up to 33 feet (10 meters) ahead of the moving car.

Upon reaching an intersection that you need to turn at in the Mercedes car, these arrows indicate that you might need to change lanes to turn. As you arrive at your destination, a small checkered flag will indicate when you have arrived.

These might seem a bit distracting at first, but drivers will likely get used to the features quickly. The arrows are not large enough to distract you from driving but guide you should you need help.

The Mercedes-Benz User Experience isn’t just for the driver anymore

In addition to the new AR-HUD technology, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) quickly changes the way both driver and passenger experience the drive. A large OLED (Organic Light Emitting Display) is featured on the dashboard

Each seat will have its own screen, complete with a microphone capable of distinguishing one passenger from another. They can control entertainment, windows, climate, and navigation. In addition to that, this system can also detail if a car, truck, or motorcycle might be coming in your direction. It will display the type of vehicle while alerting you.

These features benefit even the most seasoned drivers. Keeping you on the road and alert to your surroundings also benefits others that might be driving near you. The technology offered on the new 2021 Mercedes lineup has not been matched yet, but we’re sure BMW and Lexus won’t be far behind.


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