The camo doesn’t hide much of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, due later this year, but there is plenty of tech still invisible under the skin. The next-gen Mercedes flagship, which will be shown fully in September, will offer plenty of new safety and driver assistance systems, some of them industry-firsts that have not been employed in production cars to this point.
Airbags for Rear-Seat Passengers
That’s right—rear-seat airbags—and not the curtain kind that pop out of the roof in rollover incidents. Instead, the S-Class will feature wing-shaped airbags in the front seat headrests that will deploy for the benefit of rear-seat passengers in severe frontal collisions. That’s not something that’s been offered in any prior vehicle, and it’s a system that’ll work even given the presence of flat screens. Both the driver and passenger side headrests will feature this system, but buyers will have to select the executive rear-seat package to receive them.
“With the new S-Class we are now proudly presenting the world’s first frontal airbag for the passengers in the rear,” said Dr. Thomas W. Hellmuth, head of body and safety for the S-Class. “The rear airbag with an innovative, tubular structure is unique, allowing it to deploy in a gentle manner. Naturally, the passengers should continue to fasten their seatbelts, and now with the new, illuminated-design belt buckles, putting on seatbelts is even more intuitive.”
Four steerable wheels are better than two, and Mercedes says that the next S-Class, optioned with this system, will be as maneuverable as a compact sedan. The rear wheels will be able to turn 10 degrees for more agile footwork in dense urban areas, and its turning radius will be reduced 7 feet thanks to this ability. The optional rear-wheel steering will be offered in two variants: with a 10-degree angle, or a 4.5-degree angle. That’s right, buyers will be able to pick how much steering angle they want.
“The rear-axle steering makes the S-Class as maneuverable as a compact car,” said Jürgen Weissinger, chief engineer. “Even for the S-Class with a long wheelbase, the turning radius is reduced to under 36 feet. And thanks to Active Parking Assist with 360-degree camera, the vehicle can fit into tight parking spaces while monitoring whether anybody is moving within that space. When leaving a space, the S-Class keeps a wary eye out for crossing traffic.”
Active Blind Spot Assist
In dense urban areas, bicyclists are often hurt by car doors that pop open unexpectedly. The new S-Class will be able to detect approaching hazards even before a passenger actually opens the door while the car is parked. How will this work?
“As another feature celebrating its world premiere, the exit warning function now gives a warning as soon as the driver or front passenger reaches for the door,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, head of automated driving. “This is because the MBUX Interior Assistant recognizes when a hand approaches the door handle.”
When the MBUX Interior Assistant system detects an approaching vehicle or person, a red warning triangle will be displayed in the exterior mirror. Mercedes should call this the Biker Warning System.
E-Active Body Control
This will likely be one of the more significant additions to the S-Class repertoire, and it’s the same system that has debuted in a number of recent Mercedes SUVs. Each wheel gets a damper with two working chambers that feature an adjustable damping valve along with a hydraulic pressure reservoir. A motor/pump unit forces the hydraulic fluid to be displaced, which creates a difference in pressure within the damper, tilting the car from side to side to compensate for g-forces while cornering, as well as up and down when needed.
“The motor/pump units at all four wheels are coordinated by a central control unit which also actuates the valves and the compressor for the air springs, and therefore always controls the entire suspension system,” Mercedes adds.
Pre-Safe Impulse Side
One very innovative safety feature—and perhaps one of last resort—will use the same E-Active Body Control to quickly raise the body of the S-Class if the side-mounted radar sensors sense an impending collision.
The S-Class will raise itself by up to 3 inches in such a scenario, in order to let the door sill absorb more of the impact as opposed to just the door itself. The aim of this system is to let the sturdier door frame take more of the impact, versus just the door, and reduce the deformation of the passenger cell.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.