Mercedes takes major tech steps

Mercedes-Benz claims its new driving assistance functions on the new S‑Class, set for introduction in the autumn, are a major step towards autonomous driving.

Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now support the driver even more conveniently in keeping a safe distance and steering, and the vehicle speed is now also automatically adjusted in bends and at road junctions. Also onboard are Active Emergency Stop Assist and a considerably improved Active Lane Change Assist.

‘The new S-Class raises Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level,’ said 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.’

Thanks to enhanced camera and radar systems, the new S‑Class has an even better view of the traffic situation: in addition, for the first time it 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 – eg 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.

Dr Michael Hafner said, ‘We have always programmed the software for the assistance functions in-house. This means that we are able to implement new ideas very quickly.’