Mercedes-Benz’s new Roadster has a flippy touchscreen

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Mercedes-Benz: Large touchscreens are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in new cars, and the larger these rectangular screens become, the fewer things you can do with the hardware to set yourself apart from the competitors. Perhaps this is why Mercedes-Benz is removing the screen from the dashboard, anchoring it to the center console, and allowing it to electronically flip up and down in the forthcoming 2022 AMG SL Roadster.

Yes, Mercedes-newest Benz’s vehicle features a flippable screen. The AMG SL Roadster’s 11.9-inch portrait touchscreen was created this way to assist reduce glare — after all, it’s a convertible — but it’s also plainly a fancy parlor trick that says, “Hey, we did something different from Tesla.”

The 2017 AMG SL Roadster also features a digital instrument cluster that is distinct from the competition. The 12.3-inch screen is stowed away behind the steering wheel in a “visor” that Mercedes-Benz claims is “aviation-inspired.” It’s essentially a screen that’s implanted even deeper into the dashboard than usual, which, of course, helps to reduce glare. (Something tells me the most recent consumer feedback sessions had a common theme…)

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Because the drive to larger screens in automobiles has placed a greater focus on software, automakers from Polestar to Ford are looking to internet behemoths like Google for assistance. However, the hardware has converged in a similar way to the current status of the smartphone market. As a result, quirky new ideas can now stand out.

This articulating screen, like Samsung’s folding phones, feels more like a notion thrown at a wall than something that would ever become popular (I’m curious to see how well it holds up to being poked and pushed — it probably won’t wobble, but you never know). Nonetheless, it’s an intriguing gamble for Mercedes-Benz to take.

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