The facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan is to make its first appearance at the Shanghai motor show, and will feature an extensive range of driver assistance systems, including advanced autonomous capabilities. It arrives in the third quarter of 2017.
The systems include a new Active development of the Distance function that provides autonomous acceleration and braking on any scheduled trip in her sat-nav, along with an update of Active, Speed Limit assist system.
A revised version of the cruise control system distronic, which Mercedes says that eventually filter down into all of its future models, offers a new autonomous driving feature that promises improved safety, as well as a set-and-forget speed limit, the function that strictly adheres to posted and temporary speed limits, whether in an urban environment, on the country roads or off the freeway. The most important thing is that it is able to autonomously adjust the speed according to the road, braking for the corners, slowing down when approaching motorway exits, and stop when the driver indicates to turn across the path of oncoming traffic.
Support system distronic is a new series of graphics, both in the instrument cluster and in the optional head-up display of the drive.
The new optional driver assistance system, which is accessed through buttons on a new design of multi-function steering wheel in place of Mercedes-Benz’s traditional cruise control stalk, is based on an improved system of stereo camera mounted on the windshield, with the two lenses are moved further apart for the improvement of the definition, to digitize the signals of the road. It also uses an improved long-range radar system capable of operating up to 250 meters in the front of the car to help the driver and autonomous shutdown of the S-Class if it detects an obstacle.
In addition, it is able to provide anticipatory adjustments in the speed at the base of the digital mapping data in the new system Comand Online 5.5 of the satellite navigation and infotainment system. The mapping data, provided by the joint venture, which is the property of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, is described by Michael Hafner, head of automated driving and active safety at Mercedes-Benz, as being “significantly smarter” than the previous systems.
In a development billed as a key step on the path towards full autonomous driving, the Active the Distance function uses the data provided by the digital mapping of data to reduce the speed in curves, roundabouts, crossings and toll booths, to stop the vehicle when necessary, and then independently, speeding up again when the road conditions and speed limit allow.
The character of the autonomous functions can be altered in three ways, through the S-Class Dynamics of the system of selection: Echo provides a conservative driving style for maximum fuel economy, Comfort goals more serene progress and the Sport is programmed to the maximum acceleration potential while providing a later and more severe braking. The curves of velocities are also varied between the three modes.
Mercedes-Benz last autonomous cruise control function also controls the following distance to other vehicles within a speed range between 0 and 131mph. To maximize the fuel economy in the Eco mode, which also performs the function of cabotage during the periods of end of the accelerator, taking into account the speed limit, and autonomous braking to ensure you remain within it.
Together with a revised version of the Active Steering assist feature, the Active participation of Distance function is offered in the facelifted S-Class also provides autonomous steering for periods of up to 30 seconds. Hafner says that the control software of the autonomous community of the address of function has been extensively revised, providing greater accuracy and improved fluency.
More driver assistant system as a whole, to be adopted by the facelifted S-Class includes the Active Lane Change Assist, Active the Emergency Stop Assist, Active Brake Assist and remote Parking to Attend the functions now offered in the E-class.
The first trip in the revised version of the S-Class
As we go out in the facelifted S-Class with all its different driving assistant systems turned on for the first time, the primacy of the print is how far Mercedes has come to fulfill the promise of equipping their future models with full autonomy the ability to drive.
While Mercedes is yet to provide the top of the luxury saloon with a full-time autonomous steering function due to a system of illegality on the European roads, the combination of the new Active Distance Help and Active the Speed Limit to Attend the functions, however, represent a significant step toward equipping the S-Class with the driverless mobile lounge-like qualities touted by the past future-focused concepts such as the F015 Luxury In Motion.
With a route programmed in your updated Command Online, navigation system, upgrade of the S-Class starts with a movement of the throttle from the controller. From there, autonomously, accelerate and brake your way out of Mercedes, technical centre on the outskirts of Stuttgart.
Using the information gathered by your newly designed stereo camera long-distance radar, and digital map data from the navigation system, we spent almost an hour of course along a section of a six-lane highway, winding country roads, and urban streets. Awesome, the only action required by the driver is an occasional adjust in the new multi-function steering wheel.
With the new Mercedes is capable of accelerating and braking on its own, the stress in your driver is clearly reduced. As an additional advantage, the speed of the car, never rises above the legal limit.
What really impresses is the predictive Mercedes has designed in their more recent system of distronic. As we exit the freeway, the S-Class autonomously applies braking force to the exit lane, the recognition of the corner ahead and adjusting speed accordingly. When you get to the corner, with sufficient speed has been erased to allow the driver to confidently turn before the car accelerates again up to the 70 km/h limit without the driver’s foot that comes anywhere near the throttle.
In another example of the ability of prediction, the new system distronic applies the force of braking, while at the entrance of cities, ensuring the speed of the car is perfectly coincident with the boundary of the right in the appearance of the city sign.
It is also easy to identify temporary speed limits in construction zones, even in the signs that are partially hidden.
But while that represents a great advance on the old system distronic, the Active Distance Help and Asset limit of Speed Assistance systems are not quite perfect. The sign scanning software that can’t even differentiate between different speed limits, where the sign denotes a certain time of the day for a boundary and then in a second time of the day for another limit. “We’re working on it”, says Hafner. “But the complexity is enormous and these things take time.”
We also realized that the car was not able to reach the foot from the accelerator and adjust the speed when we passed a temporary sign warning of an oil spill.
Other changes to the S-Class
Along with its extensive range of new technologies, there will be some improvements in the update of the S-Class. The main changes will be the new front and rear bumpers, and slight adjustments in the design of the rear lights. The LED headlight cluster designs can also be adjusted.
The engines of the current S-Class can be carried through in its entirety, but there may be minor improvements to its fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures. Meanwhile, a new 48V mild hybrid system is due to be released as part of a broader plan to add more electrically-assisted models.
The Mercedes-AMG S 63 is also facelifted. Click here to get the latest on the car
Additional reporting by Mike Duff and Darren Moss
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