Sunday, December 27, 2009

In Absolute COMAND...

In case you are wondering how my word editor let go of the spelling mistake, rest assured there isn’t any. It’s the COMAND display screen in the technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan that’s being referred.

What is it?
COMAND – short for Cockpit Management and Navigation Device is the patented Command Controller in the S-class. A powerful processor is the brain behind it which virtually controls everything in the car, right from adjusting the seat massaging levels to internal climate control to satellite navigation.

COMAND is an 8” TFT screen in the 16:9 widescreen display format, located in the centre of the S-class dashboard. Its ergonomical position ensures that it doesn’t prove to be a distraction even while driving in the dark. It is controlled by a multidirectional wheel located on the centre console, neighbouring the gear lever. Every minute adjustment in the cockpit of the car is categorized in detail on the COMAND menus and sub-menus.

Linguatronic Technology
COMAND works in harmony with the car radio and the telephone, linking them so that telephonic calls can be made from within the car itself. Linguatronic Voice Control system interwoven in the COMAND recognizes the passenger’s voice and stores, retrieves and dials telephonic contacts as per request so that the driver never has to take his hands off the wheel while making a call.

Digital broadcasting
It can also get in touch with any service provider to get traffic jam situation warnings and recommend a detour to the driver, if necessary, all at the touch of a button. It can broadcast satellite channels so that the passenger is up to date with the latest news even while traveling. COMAND automatically switches off on the driver’s side when the vehicle gathers speed above 6 km/hr and as soon as the speed drops below 3 km/hr, COMAND starts the screen again.

Laser Guided Cruise Control
COMAND plays what the front and the rear cameras located in the car record. The front camera is an infra-red camera which uses the Laser Guided Cruise Control technology to identify obstacles in the car’s path. The driver can view the path much clearly on the COMAND as against viewing it with naked eyes while driving in the dark. The rear camera located in the rear bumpers is for reversing, with the COMAND displaying statistics such as the exact distance between the rear bumper and the obstacle behind.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-class models will be equipped with SPLITVIEW technology in their COMAND, developed in collaboration with Bosch. This will allow the driver and the co-passenger to view two separate programs via the same COMAND display. In case you are wondering about the magic behind this, the answer lies in pixel placement.

COMAND displays different pixels adjacent to each other and a filter masking the display divides them according to seating position, so that both the driver and the co-passenger can view what they want. All these features make Mercedes-Benz’s tagline “The Future of the Automobile” very apt. No wonder they have car stickers saying “When I grow up, I want to be a Mercedes-Benz.”

Rating: 9/10

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