Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot. Don’t need a driver?.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot. Don’t need a driver?

appeal to conservatives

There are still people who are convinced that the phone should only ring, the car should drive and the clock should strike the time. Dear conservatives, wake up.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

Surely when you buy a new iPhone, the last thing you check is how good it sounds. These features are now taken for granted. Users want more, and manufacturers are giving it to them. The modern car is a contraption on wheels that can do more than just get you from point “A” to point “B.”

I spent the weekend with the new Mercedes E-Class and came to some fascinating conclusions about the future of self-driving cars. Now is the time to share them.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?


We are not going to delve into the technical specifications or other details, after all we are here for the gadgets. And the new E-Class should look just like a gadget, perfect and desirable, like the iPhone.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

All as one.

It’s a thankless task to talk about beauty, but I don’t think anyone will argue with me that this car looks amazing. Not a revolution, the new E-Class simply takes familiar cues from the iconic S-Class, all the difference is in the details.

There is practically no separation of classes in terms of exterior and interior, everything is unified. If you are not passionate about the brand, it will be difficult for you to immediately answer which model is in front of you. The logic of the new Mercedes range is the most intelligent of all: three apparently identical models, which only differ in size and equipment.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

How not to think about the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The dream of a man with gadgets.

The designers have done the almost impossible: to create an interior that looks perfect in a classic saloon and at the same time surprisingly futuristic.

I tried to structure my impressions on what I had seen, otherwise the emotions of a schoolgirl who was at Yegor Krid’s concert for the first time arose.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

What I liked:

Chairs. They are soft, beautiful and have excellent lateral support. The padding swells as you turn, providing additional support. The driver’s seat can be equipped with a massage function for a fee. Something necessary, especially on long trips: you connect one of the nine modes and 200 km fly like 20 km.

Seat adjustments. Another good solution from Mercedes: the seat adjustments are located in the door. You don’t have to blindly search for the buttons to sit comfortably.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

Double glazing. You get in the car and it’s quiet. You’re going 100, 120, 140 kilometers per hour… All I hear is another song from the new OneRepublic album. Is incredible.

Panoramic screens. Behind the wheel of the E-Class I felt like Captain Enterprise from the movie Star Trek. In front of me was a panorama of two huge screens displaying the dashboard, navigation, multimedia and much more. The union between them is almost invisible, so it looks like a big screen.

I am sure that this will be the case in future generations, judging by the recently introduced EQ Generation from Mercedes.

For the dashboard itself, there are several design options to choose from: virtual dials, a variant with navigation instead of a tachometer, and a Tesla Model S-esque design.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

It looks cool, but it would be nice to be able to put third-party themes and widgets.

The screens are not touch, and that has its pros and cons. For one, they won’t cover themselves in fingerprints; on the other, it is still more comfortable to poke around on the screen. Mercedes offers three ways to operate the system: a grommet, a trackpad and steering wheel-mounted touch buttons.

Puck and trackpad. System controls are concentrated on the armrest on the trackpad and in the grommet below. In fact, they duplicate each other, and you could use one of them. They’re comfortable to click, and the trackpad is similar to the one on the MacBook.

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

Touch the buttons on the steering wheel. There are two touch buttons on the steering wheel that control the information on the dashboard. Interesting, but more of a gimmick for the gimmick’s sake.

apple CarPlay. The new E-Class is compatible with apple CarPlay. The familiar display with icons is located in the central display, and everything else is standard: Siri, Apple Music, maps, calls, messages. You can read about our first introduction to CarPlay here.

Contour lighting. The interior features contour lighting, with a choice of 64 colours. It looks spectacular, especially when driving through the city at night. It’s just decorations and lights, but it’s a damn sight to behold.

What I did not like:

Decorative elements. There are several variants of interior decorations, and most of them are lacquered.

It is a fine dust collector for fingerprints and scratches. Sort of like the iPhone Jet Black: pretty, but by far. The most practical and, in my opinion, the most beautiful option is “thick brown ash”.

The pleasant texture of wood seems both more expensive and more pleasant to the touch.

Autopilot vs. driver

When you push the engine start button, you expect from this car not only comfort, but also safety. This is where the fun begins. The new E-Class is simply packed with various “assistants” who keep an eye on the road, the vehicle and the driver. Do the math:

Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?
  • Projection on the windshield with navigation;
  • Adaptive Cruise Control, which keeps an eye on the vehicle in front of you, automatically maintaining distance and speed;
  • Controls when driving through a solid line of road markings;
  • Acoustic and vibration signals when changing the right direction;
  • Application of speed according to signs. It works, it recognizes them;
  • Adaptive headlights with 84 LEDs.
  • Autopilot for a short time.
  • When it comes to autonomous driving, the new E-Class feels safe: it follows signs, takes turns calmly and is even capable of changing lanes at the signal of a turn signal. But you should not take your hands off the wheel for a long time. The system begins to get nervous, to give signals, they say: they fell asleep, they take everything into their hands. If you don’t react for a while, the car will stop like a stone, right in the middle of the road.

    The steering system works perfectly – it follows the road markings and prevents you from crossing a solid line or going off the road. A warning comes on immediately on the projection screen, the car brakes slightly and returns you to the lane.

    It is also capable of braking obstacles on its own, avoiding collisions. It works correctly, but it does it very abruptly. Like the first time I went to driving school, it’s sharp and down to the ground.

    After going through three stoplights this way, I turned it off as a precaution.

    Traveling in a Mercedes E-Class with autopilot.  Don’t need a driver?

    Artificial intelligence in general turned out to be quite nervous and overly cautious. Did you decide to move into the other lane without changing lanes across the broken line? The car vibrates the steering wheel, slows down, and returns you to the lane. It seems safe, but sometimes it is absurd.

    What really got me excited though were the headlights. The adaptive headlights, each with 84 LEDs, illuminate the road without blinding oncoming traffic or the car ahead. The car turns off the sections by itself, as if it were controlling the lights.

    Has the future already arrived?

    No, but the beginning is very optimistic. The autopilot remains nervous, cautious and afraid to leave the wheel. It seems that the systems should follow the driver, but so far the opposite is true.

    Today a car cannot do without autopilot, and that’s a good thing. The new E-Class is a great pleasure to drive. You don’t want to “sink” into it; This car was not built for it. It is enough for you to sit in a comfortable seat, turn on the massage, your favorite music and enjoy the trip itself.

    As for the autopilot, it is the future, in the near future. In the meantime, you can let the artificial intelligence drive it from time to time, like your son who just got his driver’s license and asks you to take him for a ride with friends on the weekend.

    You can trust him, but don’t take your hands off the wheel.

    Take a test drive and see for yourself all the features of the new E-Class. This is a car that everyone who considers himself an insider needs to sit in at least once in his life.

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