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This is a great video that shows off the automated driving technologies that Mercedes-Benz engineers use to test and develop advanced safety features.
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Thanks for the tip Shelton!
The AIRCAP system on the 2011 E-Class Cabriolet will continue to increase the amount of time you can enjoy your Mercedes with the top down. Building on the AIRSCARF system currently available on the SLK and SL, AIRCAP will create a calm air zone in the passenger compartment making it both more comfortable at higher speeds and easier to heat or cool. A front deflector raises up from the top of the windshield to both redirect air higher over the passenger cabin and allow air slowed down by its screen to enter the cabin and maintain a pocket of calmer air.
Current CLK Cabriolet owners will enjoy not having to install and uninstall a wind deflector anymore. Additionally, you will be able to raise and lower the top at speeds below 25mph.
SPLITVIEW allows the driver and passenger to view two different sources on the same COMAND screen. The driver can control all of the normal COMAND functions like radio, navigation and phone while the passenger can use headphones and a remote to watch DVD video on the same screen!
State law prohibits this system on vehicles registered in AL, AZ, CO, IL, LA, MD, MA, NH, PA, VT, VA, WA, WV and WI. But we can have it in Georgia!
SPLITVIEW – Code 867 – $700 – Order now!
If you purchase a car with this option, your dealer’s service department will still need to activate it for you once you have acknowledged that you understand the legal requirements for using it in your state.
In order to comply with the PZEV emissions standards – zero evaporative emissions – this button triggers the fuel tank to depressurize before the cap is removed so that vapors don’t escape. The ML 450′s increased fuel efficency means that the fuel tank isn’t opened as often as it would be in a non-hybrid so increased pressure could build up and therefore needs this extra step!
Just a little Mercedes minutiae…that I enjoy!
I was able to go for a test drive and the ride is fantastic! Much like the diesel, if you didn’t know it was hybrid you really wouldn’t notice any difference in the way it drives. It is obviously a little quieter when the gas motor is off but with the radio on you can’t tell when it turnes the engine on and off. The power was fantastic. It didn’t feel heavy or lacking in any way. The brake feel is different than our other vehicles because they are electric but it stopped just fine.
The (997) Driver Assistance Package is priced at $2900 and consists of
- Distronic Plus with PRE-SAFE Brake
- Blind Spot Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist
Let’s take them one at a time…
Distronic Plus with PRE-SAFE Brake – Distronic is the radar adaptive cruise control system that we have had for years. It uses radar sensors mounted behind the front grille to sense the car in front of you and maintain a set following distance. So, if you set your cruise at 70 mph and a car in front of you slows to 60 mph, you also slow to 60 mph until that car speeds up or you switch to an open lane and you’ll resume 70 mph. The Plus part of Distronic Plus is that it works down to a complete stop. This is amazing and takes a little time to fully trust. For example, I drive home on a fast highway with 4 stoplights. I set the cruise at 70 and followed the car in front of me at a distance of about 100 yards. As the car in front of me slows and comes to a stop for the first traffic light the 2010 E350 also slows to a complete stop. The system’s following distance is proportional to your speed so you it will bring you to a stop at a normal distance from the car that you are following. If the system keeps you stopped for more than a couple seconds you just have to just tap the gas to resume your previously set maximum speed and following distance. For anyone who spends any time on the highways around Atlanta this feature will completely change your driving experience. Since this system will allow you to use the ‘cruise control’ in many more situations I would also expect to see an increase in fuel mileage versus a E-Class not using this system.
PRE-SAFE Brake uses the same radar systems to constantly monitor the area in front of your E-Class. Using its long, medium, and short range radar systems it can detect objects as far as 200 yards in front of your vehicle. Pre-Safe braking is deployed in three stages. When the car detects that you are 2.6 seconds from an impact you will receive an audible and visual alert. At 1.6 seconds to impact there are 3 audible alerts and the system will automatically apply 40% of maximum power and activate the other reversible PRE-SAFE protection features like adjusting seat position, tensioning seat belts, and closing the windows. If the driver doesn’t press the brake pedal or swerve to avoid the collision at 0.6 seconds to impact PRE-SAFE Braking will apply the maximum braking force to greatly reduce the severity of a collision.
Another manufacturer is advertising a system like this but it only works at speeds below about 20 mph. Our system works on moving objects when you’re traveling from 19mph to 124mph and on stationary objects when you’re traveling below 44mph. Just like seatbelts, airbags, and ABS brakes this technology that is now exclusive to Mercedes-Benz will someday be standard on every vehicle, as it will certainly save lives.
Lane Keep Assist – Using a windshield mounted camera, Lane Keeps Assist alerts you when you are drifting out of your lane. It takes into account your speed and turning angle to only alert you when you are unintentionally changing lanes. It uses three short vibrations in the steering wheel that feel a lot like rumble strips and are only noticeable to the driver. The system can also distinguish between solid and broken white lines and vary its alert timing. This system operates above 37mph so you won’t have to worry about it annoying you in parking lots. The system will also not activate if it believes that you are intentionally crossing based on your turn signal, brake, and accelerator usage.
I was able to visit the Fuel Cell Development center when I visited Germany last year. I saw all of the vehicles that they show in this video and went for a ride in one of the fuel cell equipped B-Classes. It was seamless, impressive and entirely believable as a daily driver. Mercedes has also put fuel cells into commercial busses and delivery vehicles all over Europe. As this technology gains recognition and passes all of these tests it may become the most viable of the alternative fuel sources available now.