Mercedes-Benz steering wheel 100 years of development

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The capacitive steering wheel in the new E-Class 2020

The new generation of steering wheels with capacitive hands-off detection is now also being launched in the E-Class. A two-zone sensor mat is located in the steering wheel rim. “The sensors on the front and back of the rim register whether the steering wheel is being held. No more steering movement is required to signal the assistance systems that the vehicle is under control,” explains Marcus Fiege. The Touch Control buttons integrated into the steering wheel spokes now also function capacitively. This reduces the mechanical operating surfaces to a maximum. The seamless control panels, which are divided into several functional areas, are precisely integrated flush with the spokes. As with a smartphone, touches are recorded and evaluated via capacitive sensor technology, which enables intuitive operation via swiping gestures and pressing of familiar symbols. The high-quality materials have been selected in such a way that operation is possible even in an interior heated up by sunlight. “The system automatically recognises where the finger is at any given moment. And the buttons are designed for temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius,” says Fiege.

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