Intelligent Drive: Driving assistance systems: All the E-Class innovations on board

Jun 28, 2017

Mercedes-Benz's highly advanced assistance and safety systems enhance safety, comfort and driver relief to new levels.

As a member of the current E-Class family, the new Cabriolet optionally offers all the features familiar from the Saloon and Coupé. Active Brake Assist comes as standard. It is able to warn the driver of impending collisions, provide support with emergency braking and, if necessary, apply the brakes autonomously. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing in the danger zone ahead of the vehicle.

Likewise included as standard are ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist. This assists the driver with one-sided braking action to substantially reduce vehicle drift in strong crosswinds.

Extensive Driving Assistance package available on request

The Driving Assistance package is optionally available. This further relieves driver workload in day-to-day driving with new and improved assistance systems, especially in convoy and stop-and-go traffic. The Driving Assistance package includes:

Distance Pilot DISTRONIC with Steering Pilot: On all types of road, this is able to automatically maintain the correct distance behind vehicles ahead, and also follow them automatically at speeds of up to 210 km/h. In most situations the driver does not need to intervene by braking or accelerating. At the same time the Steering Pilot can assist the driver when steering – even on slight bends. At up to 130 km/h, and even where lane markings are unclear or absent, e.g. where there are roadworks, the system can continue its active steering assistance because as in a swarm, it is able to take its bearings from nearby vehicles and parallel structures. Effective stress relief, especially in convoy and stop-and-go traffic, is provided by an extended restarting function. On motorways and similar roads, this can make the vehicle move off again automatically within 30 seconds of being halted by DISTRONIC distance control – for example in a tailback.

As the front radar sensor cover in the radiator grille is heated, this increases the availability of DISTRONIC distance control, especially in wintry conditions.

The Speed Limit Pilot is a further comfort-enhancing new feature: in combination with COMAND Online, this can autonomously adjust the vehicle's speed via DISTRONIC distance control in response to camera-detected speed limits, including gantries and signs at roadworks, or speed limits logged in the navigation system, e.g. 50 km/h in built-up areas or 100 km/h on country roads.

The functions of Traffic Sign Assist have also been extended versus the predecessor to the E-Class Cabriolet. If the vehicle enters a road against the signposted, prescribed direction of travel, the system gives a visual and audible warning.

This radar and camera-based Active Lane Change Assist assists the driver when changing lanes on motorways or multi-lane highways, and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver – when overtaking, for example. Once the driver has indicated to turn for at least two seconds, the Active Lane-change Assistant assists with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied.

Active Emergency Stop Assist can brake the vehicle to a standstill in its lane if it detects that the driver is permanently not taking control while on the move. The system first gives the driver a visual and audible prompt to place his or her hands on the wheel. If, after being repeatedly warned, the driver fails to react by steering, accelerating, braking or pressing a Touch Control button, the vehicle safely decelerates to a standstill in its lane and, at speeds below 60 km/h, warns following traffic using the hazard warning flashers.    

Compared to the standard version, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function has extended speed thresholds when responding to vehicles and pedestrians. It can also recognise crossing traffic, and brake autonomously if the driver fails to react. The system can now also recognise hazardous situations at the end of traffic tailbacks where there is no room for evasive action, and brake autonomously much sooner in such situations. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 100 km/h or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at up to 130 km/h.

Evasive Steering Assist is a logical addition to the pedestrian recognition of Active Brake Assist. If the driver deliberately or instinctively initiates an evasive manoeuvre in a hazardous situation, this function can add precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid the pedestrian in a controlled manner, while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely.

Active Lane Keeping Assist has also been developed further. It can counter unintentional drifting out of lane with one-sided braking intervention – e.g. when the vehicle crosses a solid lane marking unintentionally.

In typical urban traffic, at speeds above 12 km/h, Active Blind Spot Assist can now also warn of lateral collisions, and as before, correctively intervene to prevent a potential side collision at speeds above 30 km/h and activate the PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners.

PRE-SAFE® PLUS is likewise a part of the Driving Assistance package. This system can warn a vehicle behind of an impending rear-end collision by flashing the hazard warning lights at high frequency. In addition the occupants can be preventively fixed in their seats by tensioning the belts. If the vehicle is at a standstill, it can be automatically hard-braked.

The following are new in the E-Class Cabriolet:

Remote Parking Pilot: This system for the first time enables the vehicle to be manoeuvred into and out of garages and parking spaces from outside the vehicle via a smartphone app. It allows the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even where space is very tight.

Car-to-X communication: Car-to-X communication is based on an automatic, mobile radio network supported exchange of information with other vehicles, e.g. those travelling ahead. All the vehicles involved are both senders and recipients. This enables drivers to be warned of hazards in good time, e.g. a broken-down vehicle at the roadside, a sudden rainstorm or icy roads.

PRE-SAFE® Sound: This system is able to prepare the hearing of the occupants for an expected impact noise when a collision threatens, so as to reduce harmful effects. To do this it makes use of a natural protective reflex in the inner ear, the so-called stapedius reflex, which it can initiate with a short rushing sound from the sound system.

MAGIC VISION CONTROL with Cabriolet function

Optional extras include MAGIC VISION CONTROL - the intelligent and highly efficient wash/wipe system for the windscreen. Its water ducts integrated into both sides of the wiper blade supply the cleaning fluid to a point just in front of the wiper blade lip every time, according to the direction of movement of the wiper. It allows ideal cleaning of the windscreen without the familiar splash of water that can briefly disrupt the driver's field of view. Furthermore, when the soft top is down, the Cabriolet function's electronic control system reduces the amount of water, supplying the required amount of water to a point just in front of the wiper blade lip, mainly on the downward stroke of the wiper arm. In this way, the windscreen can also be conveniently cleaned with the roof open - without any of the water spraying into the vehicle interior. The complete system, including the wiper blades, is heated when the outside temperature falls to prevent snow or ice from sticking in winter.