The 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Uses AI, Gets Fancy Ambient Lighting, and Takes Selfies

Mercedes is going all-out on tech with the new 2024 E-Class interior. Leaving no 0 or 1 unturned, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class attempts to regain the spotlight with advanced tech, tons of screen real estate, and some fun use of ambient lighting. When stop-and-go traffic is a daily occurrence, the 2024 E-Class promises to relax and entertain in a way none of its predecessors ever have.

The Superscreen Is Here

Let’s get one thing out of the way: we still enjoy the drive for pleasure every now and then, and we hope the 2024 E-Class still delivers in that department. The outgoing car was our 2021 Car of the Year in no small part because of how superb it was on the road. While we wait for early driving impressions, for now, we’ll focus on the interior and the Superscreen.

No longer dubbed a Hyperscreen, the giant set of displays behind one glass surface is called a Superscreen. The interior pictured here has the available passenger-side screen, an idea we’ve seen everywhere from the Jeep Grand Wagoneer to other Mercedes SUVs and cars. Mercedes tells us the digital instrument cluster is 12.3 inches, the center display is 14.4 inches, and the available passenger display is 12.3 inches.

We’re not completely sold on the idea of a passenger burying their head in another screen on a drive, but if a front passenger is already on their phone, they may appreciate how the 2024 E-Class’ passenger screen allows for streaming video or one of many “digital decorative features,” which sounds to us like a cool, premium, digital screensaver.

Next-Level Ambient Lighting?

The passenger-screen tech is designed so that the driver won’t see the passenger display when it’s active, but no one will be able to miss the available Active Ambient Lighting including something Mercedes calls “Sound Visualization.” As someone who spent a year enjoying the color-changing ambient lighting in a 2021 E450, I’m oddly excited about this one. Although a midsize luxury sedan like the 2024 E-Class must have plenty of substance, I love a little visual theater on my commute.

In this case, you’ll find ambient lighting illuminating the top and bottom of the dash, not to mention both sides of the center console. Light is everywhere—and don’t worry, if it’s too much, there’s going to be a setting to turn it down or off. But why turn it off when, in the spirit of high-trim Kia Soul stereos, this system can now change colors for a fast sequence of beats. Or, if you’re listening to something a bit more relaxing, the light will slowly change in color.

Selfies and AI

Yes, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class can take a selfie of you—well, sort of. When the car isn’t moving, the driver can take photos, video, or participate in a Zoom meeting. We are guessing some people are going to continue to take Zoom meetings from the car with a phone in a cupholder, but it’s a nice thought. Having an occasional roadtrip photo or video check-in actually sounds like an interesting idea, but the devil’s in the details: Mercedes says it’s still looking into whether this tech is allowed in various markets. High-trim E-Class models may have ZYNC, an entertainment portal that can keep people engaged with games, news, video streaming, and interactive experiences on the central touchscreen and available passenger display. Without the need to pass time at an electric car charging station, how much E-Class buyers engage with ZYNC will be interesting to watch.

As for the artificial intelligence (AI) integration, Mercedes notes that will depend on the market, the way your E-Class is configured, and says that some functionalities aren’t yet available. So it seems there’s still some things to work out, but here’s one example of how the car can help you out: You can tell your 2024 E-Class to turn on the ventilated seats and set the ambient lighting color to purple if the temperature reaches 80 degrees. We can see some tech-forward customers engaging with this set-it-and-forget-it idea, but wonder how many people will actually take advantage. We’ll have to thoroughly test the tech in the future.

Don’t Forget the Basics, 2024 E-Class

For now, we hope that basic functions and tasks will be easy to complete, despite the minimal physical buttons the interior offers. The driver and front passenger should be able to easily increase the temperature, change a radio station, or turn up the volume without trouble. A new “Just Talk” feature can hear your voice commands without saying “Hey Mercedes,” but we maintain that some functions should be simple without interrupting your music or podcast.

The 2024 E-Class should also feel luxurious inside, and if recent Mercedes efforts are any indication, that will be no problem. Luxury-car interior design is tougher today than ever before. The 2024 E-Class, like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, and other midsizers, must balance a tech-forward approach with a warm luxurious feel.

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