Intelligent Drive: Next-generation driving assistance systems

Mercedes-Benz's highly advanced assistance and safety systems enhance safety, comfort and driver relief to new levels.

Active Brake Assist is fitted as standard. It is able to warn the driver of an imminent collision, provide optimum support with emergency braking and, if necessary, also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing in the danger zone ahead of the vehicle. Likewise included as standard are ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially reducing the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track.

The highlights of the optional Driving Assistance Package include the following:

The Distance Pilot DISTRONIC with Steering Pilot, it is not only able to keep the car at the correct distance behind vehicles in front on all types of road, but, for the first time, it can also automatically follow them at a speed of up to 210 km/h. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving, and also receives plenty of steering assistance from the Steering Pilot – even on moderate speeds up to 130 km/h, as if in a swarm, the system can continue to actively help with the steering by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lane markings are unclear or non-existent, road works. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion. The extended restarting function greatly reduces driver stress, as it allows automatic moving-off within 30 seconds after stopping on motorways or major highways, thanks to DISTRONIC distance control. As the latest generation of the front radar is heated, this additionally increases the availability of DISTRONIC distance control, especially in wintry conditions.

Further innovation designed to relieve stress: in combination with COMAND Online, the selectable subfunction Speed Limit Pilot can autonomously adjust the vehicle's speed via DISTRONIC distance control in response to camera-detected speed limits, including gantries and signs at roadworks, or speed limits logged in the navigation system, e.g. 50 km/h in built-up areas or 100 km/h on country roads.

The impressive innovations amongst the assistance systems include Active Lane Change Assist.This radar and camera-based assistance system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads, and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver – when overtaking, for example. Once the driver has activated the indicators for at least two seconds, Active Lane Change Assist helps the driver to steer into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied.

Active Emergency Stop Assist can brake the vehicle to a standstill in its lane if it detects that the driver is permanently not taking control while on the move. If there is no steering wheel movement over a longer period when the Steering Pilot is activated, the system gives the driver a visual and audible prompt to place his/her hands on the wheel. If, after being repeatedly warned, the driver fails to react by steering, accelerating, braking or pressing a touch control button, the vehicle safely decelerates to a standstill in its lane and warns the traffic behind using the hazard warning flashers.          

Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: compared with the standard version, it offers extended speed thresholds with regard to vehicles and pedestrians. It is also able to recognise crossing traffic moving at a maximum of half the car's own speed on junctions, and brake autonomously if the driver fails to react. The assistant can now also recognise hazardous situations at the end of traffic tailbacks where there is no room for evasive action, and brake autonomously much sooner in such situations. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 100 km/h or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this level.

Evasive Steering Assist: this system is the ideal complement to the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assist. If the driver deliberately or instinctively initiates an evasive manoeuvre in a hazardous situation, this function can add precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid the pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely.

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