TechHive: 2015 Mercedes C-Class gets semi-autonomous braking, distancing, and parking

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thumbnail 2015 Mercedes C-Class gets semi-autonomous braking, distancing, and parking
Jan 14th 2014, 00:08, by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

DETROIT—On Monday at the North American International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz staged its public debut of the 2015 C-Class sedan (after an online announcement late last year). While this is the lowest-end of the luxury German automaker's offerings in the U.S., it has no shortage of tech, including a generous helping of—well, help, with accident avoidance, stop-and-go driving, and that pesky parallel parking.

2015 mercedes mercedes benz c class interior1 naias detroit auto show jan 2014 Image: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

Inside the 2015 C-Class you'll find a large central display and a touchpad on the center console.

Touchpad tech

The interior tech centers upon a 7-inch, freestanding central display and raised, glossy touchpad controller. Mercedes-Benz describes its display as "eye-catching," and it is—in fact, it looks a lot like an iPad hovering above three brushed-metal air vents. But it's not a tablet, nor even a touchscreen. Instead, this display is controlled by a small touchpad controller that sits at the base of the console.

This is not the first touchpad in a car. For instance, Audi's MMI infotainment system features a touchpad that doubles as a touch-sensitive radio preset screen. But the Mercedes-Benz touchpad controller is different—and dare I say, more intuitive—than Audi's.

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