Discussing the loss of physical buttons, Daimler Group’s Chief Design Officer Gordon Wagener told us that, especially in the EQ brand, the company is “Pushing for the elimination of hard keys” and that “I truly believe there’s no way back.” That’s not to say he doesn’t understand the appeal of the analog, however. He states that the integrated HVAC vents on the display are meant to be a meeting of the physical and digital, saying that they’ve been designed with aircraft-like cues to clearly state that carefully designed, physical things will always have a place in Mercedes’ interiors. As far as interfaces go, however, he’s firmly in the camp that digital is the future, a perspective shared with much of the industry.

This digital display also offers up new avenues for giving the passenger a little attention. They get their own display that the driver cannot operate, as eye-tracking within the car will shut it off if they look over at it. It’s also disabled if there is no one sitting in the passenger seat, becoming a piece of something like digital trim, displaying a decorative pattern inspired by the Mercedes logo. It can show a variety of entertainment to the passenger, but specifics—if things like Netflix or other streaming services will be available—have yet to be announced.

So if massive digital displays tend not to be your thing, you’re likely gonna wanna pass on the new EQS when it’s eventually released. We’ve seen a concept of such a vehicle so far and there are prototypes running around in camo, but an official roll-out date for the vehicle, and therefore this tech, is set for sometime in 2023. Until the, we’ll just have to imagine what it’s like to sit inside one massive smartphone.

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