Displaying two images on a single screen isn't exactly brand-new technology, but it takes a few years for truly cutting-edge technology to be worked into production automobiles, and now Mercedes-Benz's S-Class is joining the dual-view ranks at the L.A. Auto Show.
We first brought you news of Mercedes' SPLITVIEW technology back in December, 2008. The system to be shown at the L.A. Auto Show is the same technology we previewed in that story, though the previously planned introduction date of the first half of 2009 was understanably pushed back due to the industry's wild and crazy ride over the past 12 months.
The L.A. Show debut marks the first time that such a display will be available in the S-Class, but Mercedes isn't the first to this technology.
Jaguar actually beat them to the punch with the new XJ, offering essentially the same Bosch/Blaupunkt-developed dual-view system that as an optional upgrade. There are questions over the system's legality in the U.S., however, raising the possibility that Mercedes-Benz's could be as well. The advantage of the technology is that it allows the driver to see, for example, the navigation system, while a passenger watches a DVD.
That, however, is also the Achilles heel of the system, legally speaking, since the laws are crafted to keep drivers from watching movies, but is written in a way that's functionally unaware of the dual-view technology, and therefore makes no allowances accordingly.
For more on the technology in general, read our overview here.