2014 Mercedes-Benz S550With the release of the all new S-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz has made it very clear that they have no intention of losing the title of number one automotive manufacturer in the world. It’s “the best or nothing, in every respect,” as Mercedes-Benz often says. Keeping the goal of continuing to be the best in mind, Mercedes took a step back from the drawing board and recreated perfection.
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Mercedes-Benz has created a chain of systems that give your automobile eyes in every direction and creates a “profile” for the driver to monitor and understand driving habits.
To start, they’ve created a system of priorities to set a new bar for the future of their automobiles. The Essence of Luxury was the first, and makes its presence in ways never thought of. Seats contoured in multiple forms and perfumed air conditioning only begins to describe the comfort, not to mention the reclining seats with Hot Stone Massage technology in the front and rear and an advanced infotainment system surrounding every passenger. Not a single light bulb is used throughout the entire vehicle, only LED lights. The cockpit alone holds a total of 300 LED’s, and the headlights and tail lights consist of a total of 182, making for almost 500 LED’s all around.
All of these things, as comfortable as they are, only represent the tip of the iceberg for the best of the best of automobiles. The true innovation is found in the Intelligent Drive, which, in a sense, melds the mind of the driver with the technology that contains them. Intelligent Drive allows the car to look out for the driver, whether they’re distracted and drifting into another lane or drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel. Mercedes-Benz has created a chain of systems that give your automobile eyes in every direction and creates a “profile” for the driver to monitor and understand driving habits.
In the case that these systems are unsuccessful in preventing a collision, they’ve prepared the driver for the worst by equipping the buckle and shoulder restraints with electric motors. This tightens the belt around passengers when the vehicle senses danger to prepare for a crash and reduce whiplash. To eliminate strain on the ribcage with the tightening belts, the S-Class also has inflatable seat belts available. And, for added safety, an inflatable rear seat cushion is provided standard to keep children from sliding under the belt with the reclining rear seat.
Of course, these features are only utilized in the case that an accident is completely unavoidable. The S-Class has infrared sensors to cover every direction to sense danger and ensure the driver stays on track and remains a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead, even if it’s up to 650 feet away. To enhance its vision and ride for the S-Class further, Mercedes has created what they call Magic Body Control suspension that detects uneven surfaces by spotting bumps through a camera. From there, the air-ride suspension can adjust itself accordingly by the millisecond, allowing for better control and a smoother ride.
Beyond knowing its surroundings, the S-Class knows one other vital factor that can very well lead to a majority of accidents: it knows you.
Beyond knowing its surroundings, the S-Class knows one other vital factor that can very well lead to a majority of accidents: it knows you. Through investigation of local accidents, Mercedes-Benz finds ways to make their vehicles safer and more effective in the case of a crash. But one thing they can’t engineer is the driver. Many times, the driver may just be distracted and swerve off course, in which case the S-Class alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel and, if need be, correcting the problem. But what happens if a driver is falling asleep at the wheel?
Drowsy drivers cause a mass number of accidents, and it happens more often than one may think. In fact, according to drowsydriving.org, as of 2005, over 103 million adults in the United States admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the past year.
That’s a third of the country.
As a solution, our German friends have created a new technology that helps let us know drowsiness is beginning to affect our driving capabilities. They call this the Attention Assist system.
How it’s done is the vehicle creates a “profile” for its driver. It comes to understand the driving habits of the driver and monitors their current activity. When a driver begins to swerve off course with quick response adjustments, the computer recognizes the driver error and begins to factor in different pieces of information, such as how long the driver has been behind the wheel, if there’s wind or rough roads causing the driver to swerve and even how active the driver has been with the radio controls. If the equation adds up to be strange activity, a warning appears on the dash clusters screen that alerts the driver to the fact that they may be drowsy and should take a rest.
They’ve created the safest Mercedes yet along with a doorway to the future of the most powerful industry in the world, and they’ve done it with “the best automobile in the world.”
Improving upon the S-Class’s Intelligent Drive in the future, Mercedes is bringing the driver’s experience to a new level. They’re taking the driver assist systems and creating a web of systems that turns your S-Class into your own personal chauffeur with self-driving technology. Such technology has been dreamt of by consumers for decades, and while other manufacturers have been working to reach the same accomplishment, Mercedes-Benz has already made it possible. They took an S-Class 60 miles through German cities, all completely run by the vehicle. While this technology won’t be perfected and available to the public until 2020, it’s nice to see who we should be watching for the future of the entire industry. Companies like Google and IBM already have their eye on the German manufacturer in the hopes of finding a partnership in the future.
The S-Class and the technology within it are proof that Mercedes-Benz will never stop moving forward. Consistently, they take perfection and create the impossible. While the world still awaits the arrival of a self-driving vehicle, Mercedes keeps us holding our breath and will more than likely be the first to change the world with such technology. They’ve created the safest Mercedes yet along with a doorway to the future of the most powerful industry in the world, and they’ve done it with “the best automobile in the world.” We can’t wait to hear the details on their next priority for the S-Class, Efficient Technology.
(Image source: Mercedes-Benz)