Mercedes-Benz Extends Driving Assistance Systems on the New S-Class
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new generation of its assistance systems, which should be used in the new S-Class from autumn. With new and extended driving assistance functions, the car maker has stated it would be taking a further, major step towards autonomous driving. "The new S-Class raises Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level”, says Dr Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving and Active Safety at Mercedes-Benz. “We are approaching the goal of automated driving more purposefully and faster than many people suspect. From the autumn, the new S-Class will be able to support its driver considerably better than all systems which have been available to date."
With the new driving assistance generation, Mercedes wants to make autonomous driving yet more tangible. Thanks to enhanced camera and radar systems, the new S-Class has an even better view of the traffic situation: For the first time, it also makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour. The driver is also able to see at a glance which assistance functions have been selected, and to which situations the systems are reacting at present. Clearly understood icons – e.g. a steering wheel with hands on both sides – give information both on the screen and in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel.
Navigation data is included in the calculation
Active Distance Assist Distronic is one of the new systems. It should make the driver safer when keeping distance. The speed is now automatically adjusted at bends and junctions. The speed preset in Distronic is predictively reduced according to the route ahead then increased again. On highways and motorways, Active Distance Assist controls the distance from the vehicle ahead within a speed range from 0 to 210 km/h, and keeps the car on track.
Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist should also free up the driver. When the driver wishes to change lanes on multi-lane roads at speeds from 80 to 180 km/h, it is now sufficient to nudge the indicator stalk. Within the next ten seconds, the sensor system checks whether the next lane is clear in front of, alongside and behind the vehicle, also taking into account the speed of any other vehicles. When there is no other vehicle within the relevant safety zone, the driver is supported in changing lane.
In contrast, Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle to a standstill in its lane if it detects that the driver is no longer actively driving the vehicle while it is on the move with Active Steering Assist switched on. If the driver fails to respond after repeated visual and audible prompts by moving the steering wheel, accelerating, braking or pressing the Touch Control Button on the steering wheel, the car will be slowed down in the identified lane until it comes to a standstill.