“Hey Mercedes” voice control debuts on 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class will arrive in Australia in August starting with the mid-spec A 200 model.

Slightly larger than before, the A-Class is said to be more comfortable and equipped with standard features such as the MBUX multimedia system with widescreen cockpit and touchscreen, plus a host of active standard safety features.

All models of the new A-Class are powered by new, more efficient petrol engines and in conjunction with the 7G-DCT transmission.

Available from launch will be the A 200 powered by a new four cylinder called the M 282 with a displacement of 1.33 litres and up to 120 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque. Combined fuel economy is just 5.7L per 100 km.

“Hey Mercedes”

One of the strengths of MBUX is its intelligent voice control with natural language comprehension, which is activated by the keyword “Hey Mercedes”.

The new LINGUATRONIC (included in MBUX with extended functions and with large media display) supports many infotainment functions, for example, destination input, phone calls, music selection, writing and hearing messages.

Conventional voice control systems in cars call for certain fixed commands from their users.

The intelligent language assistance is activated either via a button on the steering wheel or with the command “Hey Mercedes”.

It’s not the human who has to adapt to the machine, but the other way round.

The voice control is also capable of learning. On the one hand it tunes into the user and their voice and also understands non-native speakers better.

The system also no longer answers stereotypically, but varies in the dialogue output too.

Tailor-made and capable of learning

MBUX is highly personalisable and configurable. It is also capable of learning and adapts to suit the user.

In the Widescreen cockpit, the customer has the opportunity to select from three display styles: alongside Classic and Sport, the Discreet style is also offered as a special feature – all displays are reduced to what is absolutely essential here.

Via the 10.25-inch instrument cluster, users can individually configure the information shown there: as an alternative to the classic speed display in the left- hand tube, displays such as the analogue clock, trip computer (from start, from reset, range) or information on the current radio station/media title can be placed there.

In the right-hand tube, as an alternative to the rev counter, an assistance graphic, the current consumption, the ECO display or a navigation map can be displayed.

All settings can be saved in a profile. If two drivers share a car, each can call up his/her favourite settings easily.

Another individualisation possibility with MBUX with extended functions are so- called theme worlds such as private, business, relaxation, sport, etc.

One person can have several theme worlds. They are activated by clicking on the menu bar.

The data record of a theme world can include e.g. climate settings, seat adjustment, radio station, navigation destination, driving mode.

Artificial intelligence is used for the prediction features; which are also part of extended MBUX functions.

With these, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next.

For instance, anyone who often telephones their mother on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion on the display on this day of the week.

Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.

And if the navigation system detects a route frequently driven, navigation to this destination is already started in the background. For example, MBUX suggests the fitness studio on the navigation screen.

The driver then only needs to confirm, and all the information on the route, such as congestion warnings, is already to hand.

Key facts

Completely new multimedia system MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience:

  • An emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers;
  • Learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence and able to be personalised;
  • Comprehensive touch operation by touchscreen, touchpad on the centre console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel;
  • Intelligent voice control with natural language comprehension and activation using the keyword “Hey Mercedes”.

More driving pleasure and ride comfort:

  • Further improved suspension with MacPherson front suspension with aluminium transverse control arms and multi-link rear suspension (optional equipment);
  • Active damping adjustment (optional equipment) with electronic control: in conjunction with the standard DYNAMIC SELECT (four driving modes), there is a choice of comfortable or sporty damping characteristics.

Modern luxury redefined:

  • Avant-garde styling of the dashboard and a cockpit with no cowl create a unique architecture;
  • The two displays measuring up to 10.25 inches (26 cm) each blend together under a shared glass to form a completely free-standing Widescreen cockpit;
  • Ambient lighting with 64 colours and illuminated air vents in a turbine look (optional extra);
  • And also optional are seat heating and seat climate control.

Fully grown-up:

  • More shoulder room (+9/+22 mm front/rear), elbow room (+35/+36 mm) and headroom (+7/+8 mm), as well as easier entry to the rear;
  • At 370 litres the boot is 29 litres larger than in the preceding model, and more usable;
  • All-round visibility has been improved by reducing the pillar claddings by around ten percent.

The key exterior dimensions and the kerb weight compared with the predecessor:

New A-ClassPredecessorChange
Length (mm)4.4194.299+120
Width (mm)11.7961780+16
Height (mm)1.4401.434+6
Wheelbase (mm)2.7292.699+30
Kerb weight (kg)21.3751.395-20

Key standard equipment:

New standard equipment not seen before in previous A-Class models includes: new 18 inch aero alloy wheels, MBUX multimedia system with widescreen cockpit (2 x 10.25″ digital screens) and TOUCHSCREEN Central Display with NTG 6 MB Navigation.

Standard LED headlights with adaptive high beam Assist, keyless start and wireless charging.

Standard safety equipment:

The new A-Class arrives with a host of standard safety equipment such as nine air bags (front, pelvis side and window bags for driver and front passenger, side bags for rear occupants and knee bag for driver), Active Brake Assist with semi-autonomous braking function, Active Parking Assist inc. PARKTRONIC, Active Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Assist with exit warning, Traffic Sign Assist and reversing camera.

Local pricing:

The new A-Class will launch on August 10 across Australia and will be available from all authorised Mercedes-Benz dealerships, the A 200 is priced at $47,200 (MRLP).

The new A200 is the first of a complete range of A-Class vehicles that will be progressively launched in Australia.

Timing and information regarding upcoming models in the A-Class range, including the entry model A 180 and the A250 will be available later this year.

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