Mercedes-Benz is planning a groundbreaking update for its flagship luxury sedans, the S-Class and EQS, by introducing a yoke steering wheel by 2025. This innovative shift, although met with mixed customer responses in the industry, doesn’t deter Mercedes from pursuing this design change. While other brands like Tesla have faced criticism for adopting similar features, Mercedes-Benz remains undeterred and continues to forge ahead.
The aim of Mercedes-Benz’s innovative approach is to revolutionize the traditional hand-over-hand steering method and enhance the overall driving experience. This involves replacing the mechanical steering column with a complete steer-by-wire system, where steering input is transmitted electronically through sensors, representing a significant advancement in steering technology.
The new design brings substantial improvements to visibility by freeing up the driver’s view of the instrument panel and the road ahead. Additionally, the yoke steering wheel has the ability to retract fully into the dashboard, made possible by the Level 3 semi-autonomy technology present in Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot system. This feature is expected to be offered as an option in the 2024 S-Class and EQS models in the United States.
Although the transition will not occur overnight, the four-year timeline allows Mercedes-Benz ample time to refine and perfect the system. Interestingly, this deliberate and careful approach mirrors that of Lexus, which initially delayed the adoption of yoke steering in the RZ 450e but recognizes the potential of this new design.
The transition to the yoke steering wheel is a significant endeavor for Mercedes-Benz, accompanied by the replacement of capacitive buttons with physical ones. This decision is a response to user feedback regarding functionality and sensitivity, particularly in diverse weather conditions. Despite initial skepticism and criticism, Mercedes-Benz remains steadfast in its belief in the potential of this technology to elevate the driving experience. By addressing user concerns and continuously refining their approach, Mercedes-Benz aims to deliver a steering system that combines innovation, functionality, and improved usability for their customers.
PHOTO CREDIT: Autojosh