The new S-Class gets improved driver assistance systems

With new and extended driver assistance functions, the new S-Class will be taking another major step towards the future of 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 vehicle speed can now also be automatically adjusted in bends and at road junctions. Also included 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,” 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. The new S-Class will be able to support its driver considerably better than all systems that have been available to date.”

The new S-Class has an even better view of the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems will allow it to look further up ahead than before. It also uses a substantially broader scope of map and navigation data. These functions include:

  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC: which is able to assist the driver in many situations, even on a route-specific basis and comfortably adjust the vehicle speed
  • Active Speed Limit Assist: which automatically adapts the vehicle’s speed to identified speed limits in conjunction with COMAND Navigation
  • Active Steering Assist: has been noticeably improved across its entire performance spectrum, resulting in markedly enhanced customer benefits
  • Active Lane Change: Assist assists the driver in a convenient and cooperative manner when making lane changes
  • 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 engaged
  • Active Parking Assist: The driver is also able to see at a glance which assistance functions have been selected, and which situations the systems are reacting to at the given moment. Icons – for example, a steering wheel with hands on both sides – give information both on the screen and in the Head Up Display. All functions can now be controlled from the new steering wheel.
  • Car-to-X Communication: Information concerning hazardous situations which a vehicle on the road has detected is made available to all other equipped vehicles in the general area to give drivers an early warning. As with Live Traffic, reports transmitted by Car-to-X Communication are shown on the COMAND Navigation map. Depending on the situation, a warning by voice output can be given when approaching a hazard.
  • Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function: This system is able to help the driver avoid impending collisions with vehicles ahead, stationary or crossing vehicles and pedestrians if the driver fails to take any action to defuse the dangerous situation. This assistance takes the form of:
    • a warning light in the instrument cluster, if the distance from a vehicle in front is inadequate
    • an additional audible warning when a danger of collision is identified
    • assisted emergency braking to avoid a collision with moving, stationary or crossing vehicles ahead
    • assisted emergency braking for pedestrians
    • supplemental braking assistance as soon as the driver applies the brakes
  • Evasive Steering Assist: Evasive Steering Assist can support the driver in taking evasive action when pedestrians are detected in the danger zone in front of the vehicle, but only after the driver initiates such action. The system then applies additional steering torque in the direction in which the driver is performing an evasive maneuver. This helps the driver to avoid a pedestrian in a controlled manner and to stabilize the vehicle afterwards on its orginal course.
  • Active Blind Spot Assist: In a wide range of speeds, this system is able to provide the driver with a visual alert, plus an audible alarm when a turn indicator is actuated, to warn of a side collision with another vehicle, or even bicycles, for example. At higher speeds, one-sided, automatic braking can additionally be applied to help avoid a side collision.
  • Traffic Sign Assist: Traffic Sign Assist displays the current speed limit on the headunit or instrument cluster display as well as the Head Up Display by gathering data embedded in the navigation system.

Mercedes-Benz will introduce the next generation of driver assistance systems with the facelifted S-Class. The scope of automated driving functions has been expanded in line with practical needs and now provides enhanced, tangible customer benefits on virtually all types of roads.

As a pioneer of automotive safety, Mercedes-Benz pursues research in this field with a rigor unmatched by any other automotive brand. Director of Driver Assistance Systems and Active Safety Dr. Michael Hafner: “We have always programmed the software for the assistance functions in-house. This means that we are able to implement new ideas very quickly.”

Source: Mercedes-Benz