Mercedes-Benz’s push toward the proliferation of touch-sensitive panels is set to get a big step forward with the announcement of a new steering wheelset to debut later this year on the 2021 E-Class family of sedans and wagons. The company has released some new details about its new tiller, and if you’re not a big fan of the touch-sensitive squares on the current generation of Benz products (as many of us are not), you might not be terribly happy with the news that all of the steering wheel controls on the new E-Class are going to be capacitive touch-sensitive going forward.
Three new steering wheels will be offered, depending on the trim and model, which will eventually be used across the Mercedes-Benz lineup, according to the company. All will incorporate a new generation of Touch Control systems that expand upon the minimal capacitive touch-sensitive panels in today’s vehicle to complete capacitive touch control, eliminating the mechanical buttons and switches.
But Will We Like It?
How Mercedes-Benz’s new steering wheels work in person remains to be seen, as the current wheel is sometimes criticized for creating areas on the wheel that you cannot touch, lest you inadvertently activate a system or change a setting. Increasing that area to encompass a lot more of the spokes of the steering wheel seems like a step in the wrong direction on first consideration, but a test drive of the new 2021 E-Class later this year should determine how well it works.