by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

The new Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG: Active safety - New assistance for drivers


Encompassed under the term "Real Life Safety", Mercedes-Benz's comprehensive safety philosophy is all about avoiding traffic accidents and mitigating their consequences. In the new E 63 AMG, more than a dozen driver assistance systems are optionally available to help to improve motoring safety significantly.


In the E 63 AMG, for example, proven technologies like ABS, 3-stage ESP® and Brake Assist work alongside innovative assistance systems to help prevent accidents and reduce their impact. These range from drowsiness detection to automatic full brake application on recognising that there is an acute risk of a collision, and from Adaptive Highbeam Assist to traffic sign recognition.

New optional extras for the E 63 AMG now include Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Well-known in the CLS and S-Class, both assistance systems are included as part of the Driver Assistance package. Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driverwhen changing lanes, by means of a red signal in the glass of the relevant exterior mirror, if a risk of collision is detected due to another vehicle in the neighbouring lane being in the so-called blind spot of the exterior mirror. If the driver ignores the warning and nevertheless initiates the lane-changing manoeuvre, the Active Blind Spot Assist intervenes. Thanks to course-correcting brake application, via the 3-stage ESP®, to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle, a yaw movement is created which counteracts the collision course, thus helping to avoid the accident.

Active Lane Keeping Assist is also linked to the 3-stage ESP®. This system kicks into action if the driver inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In this case, Active Lane Keeping Assist brakes the opposite wheels and thereby prevents the vehicle from crossing the line. A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings are crossed, the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel which generates vibrations for a short time – a discreet but highly effective cue to countersteer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.

ATTENTION ASSIST warns of drowsiness

Studies have shown that around a quarter of all serious motorway accidents are caused by drowsy drivers, making this factor an even bigger cause of accidents than drink-driving. With ATTENTION ASSIST, fitted as standard in the E 63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz is therefore making another important contribution towards helping to avoid accidents: it employs high-resolution sensors to observe driver behaviour and can recognise whether the driver is tired or not paying attention, based primarily on steering wheel movements.

The ATTENTION ASSIST system developed by Mercedes-Benz measures more than 70 parameters which are analysed to detect fatigue. This continual monitoring is important in order to recognise the gradual transition from alertness to tiredness and give the driver plenty of warning. Based on a variety of data, ATTENTION ASSIST creates an individual driver profile during the first few minutes of each journey and compares this with sensor data and the driving situation as recognised by the vehicle's electronic control unit. Alongside values such as the steering behaviour of the driver, the Mercedes-Benz system also measures driving conditions such as speed, longitudinal/lateral acceleration, indicator and pedal usage, as well as external factors such as the unevenness of the roads, for example.

DISTRONIC PLUS: now with enhanced functions

The radar-based DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control supports the driver at speeds between zero and 200 km/h in automatically adjusting the distance to the vehicles in front. In doing so it is able to apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a complete standstill and also accelerate it again. As a result, the system is also particularly convenient in stop-and-go traffic. If the system detects that the distance is being reduced too quickly, it warns the driver with both visual and audible signals.

In addition, the functionality of DISTRONIC PLUS has also been enhanced even further. The system now reacts earlier to vehicles which cut in, and the vehicle accelerates quicker when changing lanes itself and where the overtaking lane is clear.

Additional assistance: from the ADAPTIVE BRAKE to the PRE-SAFE® Brake

- ADAPTIVE BRAKE: this Mercedes-Benz brake system offers assistance functions for greater safety and comfort, such as a HOLD function when waiting at traffic lights, and Hill-Start Assist which can help prevent rolling backwards when moving off on a slope.

- Adaptive Highbeam Assist: when vehicles are detected ahead of or oncoming to the vehicle, this system automatically dips the beams and adjusts the range of the headlamps appropriate to the distance.

- Brake Assist PLUS: this system is able to recognise an impending rear-end collision using radar sensors. It calculates the necessary degree of braking assistance and makes it available immediately when the driver presses the brake pedal.

- Headlamp Assist: a sensor on the windscreen detects the lighting conditions. As a result, the headlamps can be turned on automatically when darkness falls.

- Speed Limit Assist: a camera fitted behind the windscreen detects speed limit signs at the roadside and compares this data to information contained in the GPS system. The relevant speed limit is then displayed in the instrument cluster.

- Night View Assist Plus: the display in the dashboard shows a realistic grey-scale image from an infrared camera that monitors the road ahead of the vehicle. Any pedestrians detected are additionally highlighted in the display with so-called photo corners.

- PARKTRONIC: ultrasonic sensors assist the driver when parking.

- PRE-SAFE® Brake: autonomous braking if acute danger of an accident is detected. At first the driver is given both an acoustic and an optical wanring if the system identifies there is a danger of collision. If the driver does not react to this, the system brakes the vehicle autonomously. This occurs in two stages: around 1.6 seconds before the calculated impact point the system decelerates the car with around 40 percent (approx. 4 m/s²) of the maximum braking power, gives the driver an additional, haptic warning of the impending impact and as a precaution activates the reversible PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system. If the driver still fails to react, the PRE-SAFE® Brake activates the maximum braking power around 0.6 seconds before the now unavoidable collision - this emergency braking can greatly reduce the severity of the impact. The system therefore acts like an "electronic crumple zone", offering the car occupants even greater protection. The PRE-SAFE® Brake is active at speeds of between 30 and 200 km/h when moving vehicles are detected in front of the car. The system also reacts if the car approaches a stationary queue of traffic, providing its speed is below 70 km/h.

Source: Daimler AG

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