The next S-Class is to feature a number of technological innovations as Mercedes-Benz looks to distinguish its saloon from the competition. Most will be safety-related features, but there are other gadgets too and this emphasis on computer systems is perhaps the most striking aspect of the latest version of the car.
The firm’s head of development, Thomas Weber, explained why many of these systems have been lumped together and branded as ‘Intelligent Drive’:
“This is the intelligent interlinking of sensors and systems to create a new dimension of motoring.”
There will be 25 external sensors in all, including light, infrared, ultrasound and radar sensors. Signals from these will then be interpreted by software to provide 360 degree awareness of potential hazards.
A stereo camera and radar sensors allow for lane-keeping assistance, whereby the car is moved back into its lane via gentle braking where necessary; adaptive cruise control helps keep the car a safe distance from the vehicle in front; and traffic sign recognition means that the driver can never claim to be unaware of the speed limit.
The car also offers ‘attention assist’ which rates how alert the driver is. An alarm is sounded if it seems the driver is getting drowsy.