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Mercedes-Benz is famous for safety and technology. We have been innovating the automobile since we invented it more than 125 years ago! These days there are more Assist and -Tronic features than ever before and it can get a little confusing. Here is short rundown on the common systems. You can visit the Mercedes-Benz Safety Page for some videos and more in depth explanations.
Attention Assist aka “the coffee cup” – Observes driver for initial 20 minutes of driving (over about 30 mph) and looks for changes that would indicate drowsiness. Beeps and flashes a big coffee cup to alert when there is an issue. No intervention in driving. Newer models do not display the coffee cup icon full time.
Collision Prevention Assist (CPA) – A radar on the front of the vehicle looks for impending collisions and alerts by beeping if it sees a problem. It then does the math on necessary brake force to stop in time and primes the brakes and boosts braking power. This system cannot stop the car or slow the car without driver action. Standard on most 2014 models.
Blind Spot Assist – Uses radar in the rear of the car to look for vehicles in your blind spot. Yellow triangle in mirror up to about 20 mph indicates system is on but not functioning yet. The triangle turns red when blind spot is occupied and flashes red and beeps if you engage the turn signal during a red triangle. Active Blind Spot Assist is the same but will intervene by braking the car or using electromechanical steering to pull you back into your lane.
Lane Keep Assist - Uses a camera behind the windshield to monitor the lane lines and vibrates the steering wheel if you inadvertently cross the lane line. Will not alert you if you have the turn signal on or the steering angle is severe. Newer cars have more and less sensitive settings available. Active Lane Keep Assist is the same but will intervene by braking the car or using electromechanical steering to pull you back into your lane.
Distronic – Radar adaptive cruise control that keeps you a comfortable distance from the vehicle in front of you. Now functions down to 0 miles per hour. If engaged it can use 100% of the vehicle braking power to prevent an accident. Follow distance is adjustable.
Steering Assist – This system engages over 40 mph and uses the stereo cameras and electromechanical steering to keep the car centered in a lane or behind the vehicle in front. Will only operate for a few seconds if the driver removes their hands from the wheel…but we know they can drive themselves!
PRE-SAFE – If the car senses and impending collision it takes action to protect the passengers. It can cinch the seatbelts, adjust the passenger seat to a more favorable position, close windows and more to reduce injury. If no accident occurs the actions are reversed.
Pre-Safe Plus with Rear-Collision Protection – Looks behind the vehicle for an impending collision and actives Pre-Safe features as well as using the brakes to hold the car in place rather than being pushed into another vehicle or traffic.
Pre-Safe Brake with Pedestrian Recognition aka the soccer ball thing – If the vehicle sees a pedestrian it can automatically engage the brakes while alerting the driver with beeps.
BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist – Uses the stereo cameras to look for cross traffic and can boost braking power when necessary.
Some of these features are standard, some are optional and some are only available on select models at this time. But, just like airbags that we patented in 1971, all of these safety features will probably become standard on every vehicle in the world eventually!
Check out the calm in the cabin and the :30 mark compared to the mayhem that is happening to the car!
I have previously posted a more scientific video of the new Magic Body Control. However, this commercial was clearly made for me and is now my go-to video for explaining this feature! Thank you Mercedes-Benz for combining two of my favorite things!
I went for a little road trip today in a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350. I drove about 120 miles round trip to Fayetteville, Georgia and had a great time! I used less than a quarter of a tank of fuel, seamlessly navigated the highways and rural roads, and interacted with several of our new systems.
This may be my best ever Eco Display score. Normally on the way to work it gets down into the single digits! Notice in the picture that I am using both the ECO Start/Stop function and the HOLD braking feature at the same time!
The E-Class is a very busy car and there are a lot of features. Here are a few of the features I interacted with on my little trip:
…all that in just 2 hours! Imagine what this car could do for you all the time!
Ever since this commercial started airing customers have been coming in and asking for “the thing with the girl and the soccer ball.” So, for clarification, that “thing” is Distronic PLUS with PRE-SAFE and Pedestrian Recognition. This is part of the Driver Assistance Package on the 2014 E-Class.
Here is a video about how it actually works.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class should be arriving any minute now and it has some exciting new technology! This is the first of our vehicles to get the Steering Assist upgrade to the Distronic Plus. Now the radar can keep you both an appropriate distance from the vehicle in front and in the center of your lane. This system uses the electromechanical steering to stay centered as oppsed to using the brakes like Active Lane Keep Assist. I can’t wait to try it out! Also, doesn’t the 2014 E-Class look great in this video?
From the Mercedes-Benz website: This innovative driver-assistance system uses four cameras whose live images are automatically combined into a single “overhead” view that’s displayed on the in-dash screen during low-speed maneuvers. To help you better negotiate tight spaces, the system shows an area approximately 3 feet in all four directions around your GL-Class, with the image automatically adapted to the selected gear. Active parking guidelines on the screen help you back into a parking space, while a special rear view zoom mode helps you line up the optional trailer hitch of your GL-Class with your trailer. You can also select the images of each camera individually through the COMAND system controller.
I was able to drive a GL450 with this option for the first time this week. It would certainly be useful in tight spots and in areas with hazards such as kids and pets! I would need a little more time with it really appreciate everything that it can do!
The usual rearview camera is used along with three additional cameras. One under the star in the grill and one under each sideview mirror.
Here are some images from the screen as I cruised around the lot and parked in a few spots. The cameras stay active up to 20 miles per hour!
Earlier this month, SiriusXM took a significant step forward in improving the quality of its industry-leading Traffic service.
No action is necessary. Improvements are automatic. Can you see a difference?
When I demonstrate the features of a new Mercedes-Benz to clients I try to stick to the basics…there is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming! However, there are so many things that the cars can do! Mercedes-Benz posted a few “advanced” features to their Facebook Page today. If you have been driving your Mercedes-Benz for a while and are ready to learn more then this is for you! Visit the Mercedes-Benz USA Facebook page to see more!
A few years ago Mercedes-Benz switched from Tele-aid to mbrace for our in-vehicle service provider. At the time there was not a huge difference in the services provided but we knew that, down the line, Hughes Telematics would have more to offer. Those new features will begin to appear in the 2013 SL-Class this spring in the new mbrace2. Visit the mbrace sneek peek at MBUSA.com for more details about the system including…