Active and passive safety: A unique combination of trend-setting driver assistance systems

Sep 7, 2010
Throughout the world the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and large CL-Class Coupé are synonymous with the ultimate in active and passive safety systems. A significant part of such systems is also made up of the unique combination of trend-setting camera and radar-based driver assistance systems. The latest innovations are called Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, both of which are available as optional extras.
The combination of state-of-the-art assistance and protection systems turn the saloon and coupé into "intelligent" partners which are able to "see", "feel", respond "instinctively" to detected dangers and act "on their own initiative" in order to avoid accidents or to reduce the severity of accidents. The vehicle makes use of cameras and radar sensors which look far ahead, observe the conditions around the vehicle, and are able to interpret typical critical situations.
When the S 63 AMG or CL 63 AMG unintentionally drives over a solid line to the right or left of a lane or on the outside of a bend, the new Active Lane Keeping Assist intervenes and prevents the vehicle from unintentionally leaving the lane. In such cases it applies the brakes to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle, using the sensor system of the Electronic Stability Program ESP®.
Similarly, when the new Active Blind Spot Assist detects that changing lanes would be dangerous, it warns the driver by displaying a red warning in the glass of the relevant exterior mirror. If the driver ignores the warning signal and a vehicle in an adjacent lane comes too close, the ESP® takes corrective action by applying the brakes to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist is now also included as part of the standard equipment specifications on the CL 63 AMG (S 63 AMG: optional extra). The camera-based system can detect vehicles with their lights on which are travelling towards or ahead of the car in which the system is fitted and controls the headlamps such as to ensure the largest possible range without dazzling other drivers.
Night View Assist Plus and Speed Limit Assist
The Night View Assist Plus with infrared camera (optional extra) is equipped with a special pedestrian detection function: as soon as the system detects pedestrians on the road ahead, they are highlighted on the display to make them more readily noticeable.
The images supplied by the windscreen camera are also used by the Speed Limit Assist, which is available as an optional extra. It recognises speed limit signs in passing and shows the relevant speed limit in the central display.
New as standard on the CL 63 AMG: drowsiness detection
Thanks to an innovative technology both the S-Class and CL-Class have a very sensitive antenna for the attention level of the driver, and can warn him in time when he becomes drowsy. The ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system continuously monitors more than 70 different parameters. Once the evaluation electronics recognise the steering behaviour pattern that typically indicates the onset of drowsiness on the basis of information from the highly sensitive steering angle sensor, a warning signal is sounded and "ATTENTION ASSIST. Break!" appears in the instrument cluster. ATTENTION ASSIST is fitted as standard on both AMG models.
"Electronic crumple zone" for maximum occupant protection
Mercedes-Benz has also improved the long and medium-range radar used by the optional Brake Assist BAS PLUS and DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control. Mercedes-Benz also offers another radar-based system in the form of PRE-SAFE® Brakes. If the driver is distracted and fails to recognise the immediate danger of a rear-end collision, or the warning signals of an assistance system, this system can intervene and brake the vehicle independently. The S 63 AMG and CL 63 AMG make use of the latest development stage of this safety system: if the driver fails to react even after automatic partial braking action, the PRE-SAFE® Brakes activate the maximum braking pressure around 0.6 seconds before what is now recognised as an unavoidable accident – an emergency braking action that can significantly mitigate the severity of the impact. The PRE-SAFE® Brakes therefore act as something like an "electronic crumple zone".