One of the standout features of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan, the all-electric alternative to the brand’s standard-bearer full-size S-Class, is its available Hyperscreen. This full-dash panel houses a pair of 12.3-inch displays, one in front of the driver and another—a touchscreen unit—positioned in front of the passenger, along with a massive 17.7-inch central touchscreen all behind a single glass panel. Behind the Hyperscreen’s stunning design hides some serious engineering and a curious backstory for its naming inspiration.
Standing in as the de-facto dashboard, the Hyperscreen has to conform to a litany of safety regulations while also relocating certain elements typically found in the dashboard—say, the passenger-seat airbag—elsewhere without impacting these items functionality. For starters, like a regular dashboard, the Hyperscreen must pass regulatory head-impact safety standards. Most of the surfaces in a modern car interior are designed to absorb the impact of a human head or other body parts, however minimally, in an accident. This is partially due to the fact that we here in the United States still have crash tests that account for unbelted passengers. Another reason is that—belted or otherwise—your noggin still might smack into something during a crash event, and the government has codified how much “give” that something must offer.
Looking at the Hyperscreen, it would, at first, seem like a poor candidate for proper head impact protection. It’s a huge, gently curved plate of glass with displays and other electronics married to its backside via a light yet strong magnesium substructure. So Mercedes engineers treated it like one huge interior component, and worked to ensure it would meet government impact regulations. How? The massive Hyperscreen unit—screens, controls, and all—is mounted directly to the ultra-strong, structural cross-car beam that runs between the A-pillars of the EQS. To ensure the panel “gives” when a moving body or body part hits it in a crash, Mercedes mounts it via specially designed aluminum fittings; gussets in these mounts can deform when met with a crush load, such as a body hurling forward in the cabin and striking the Hyperscreen, essentially cushioning the blow like a car’s front cradle crumple zone (in miniature). Each of these mounts is rubber-isolated to minimize vibrations and rattling when not crashing.
Because the Hyperscreen weighs a little more than 16 pounds, Mercedes engineers also contended with the possibility that in the unfortunate event the EQS is rear-ended violently enough, the whole Hyperscreen panel could separate from its moors and land on front-seat occupants. Therefore, those same mounts that are designed to crumple when hit with enough load (we’re told Mercedes overshot the required g force metric that is needed to deform the panel’s mounts) are also incredibly strong in tensile strength. Translated, that means a pulling load—or one attempting to yank the panel away from the cross-car beam—needs to be incredibly high for the mounts to let go. Should you get rear-ended driving a Hyperscreen-equipped EQS, you won’t need to worry about the trio of screens landing in your lap.
There are other clever safety designs at play around the Hyperscreen. The passenger airbag was designed to deploy from above and ahead of the panel, inflating up and over the Hyperscreen to meet the front passenger’s head and torso in a frontal impact. Should an EQS be hit from the side, Mercedes made sure to cut off the Hyperscreen’s glassed-in area short of its ultimate edges, this way any cabin intrusion won’t result in a damaged Hyperscreen panel. You see, the round air vents at each end of the panel are mounted in replaceable plastic extensions affixed to the primary panel. While the assembly looks like a single unit, those end pieces are cheap sacrificial lambs in the event of a side-impact collision. Without those bits, any crash intrusion would have also impacted the costly primary panel.
What’s In a Name?
Per Mercedes engineer Matthias Pohl, head of the MBUX Hyperscreen project, the automaker spent quite some time coming up with a name suitable for what would become known as the Hyperscreen. For reasons not entirely clear, he told us the team was inspired by the decades-old song “Hyper Hyper” by Scooter, a German techno rave band that—we looked it up—is, coincidentally, touring this summer. Scooter, by the way, also has a hit song named “How Much Is the Fish?” To save you some oddball YouTube’ing, we’ll summarize the music as “weird talking set to a fast electronic beat.”
Anyway, it sounds as though Mercedes has some employees who are fans of Scooter’s brand of “happy hardcore” rave music. Or they were just messing with us. While the EQS generally eschews the gimmicky, internet-fan-person sort of Easter egg details that separate Tesla’s Model S from the pack (fart noises instead of a horn honk, silly or inappropriate voice commands, etc. ), it seems this one thing falls into that category—intentional or otherwise. So, uh, tell your friends when they’re checking out your new EQS that its jaw-dropping Hyperscreen display is like a shout-out to all the ravers in the world. Then devote a few minutes to explaining what the heck that’s all about.
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