Virtually no other area inspires Mercedes-Benz engineers more than researching new safety technologies. They passed their first key safety milestone as early as the 1950s with the development of the passenger safety cell, invented by Béla Barényi. Today it is one of numerous elements of an integrated safety concept that edges Mercedes-Benz vehicles closer to our vision of accident-free driving.
The majority of accidents start long before the actual collision: with a lapse in concentration, poor visibility or hazards which cannot be anticipated. That's why the Mercedes-Benz safety concept employs a range of measures to support safe driving in everyday operation and to help you bring critical situations under control.
In critical braking situations, specific criteria such as brake pressure and road speed are used to activate the adaptive brake lights if necessary. When activated, the brake lights flash to give drivers behind even better warning of the risk of a rear-end collision.
Research has shown that the braking reaction time of drivers is shortened by up to 0.2 seconds in emergency braking situations if instead of the usual brake lights there is a red flashing warning light. At a speed of 80 km/h this equates to a reduction in the stopping distance of approx. 4.40 metres.
As soon as the vehicle comes to a standstill or moves at less than 10 km/h, or the Brake Assist system is no longer activated, and the vehicle’s rate of deceleration goes below 6.5 m/s² for 150 milliseconds, the brake lights will again become continuous lights.
The adaptive brake lights are activated when the initial speed is above 50 km/h and the BAS Brake Assist has identified an emergency braking situation or the the braking pressure is above 75 percent of maximum. As soon as the vehicle comes to a standstill, the hazard warning lights are automatically activated if the vehicle speed prior to activating the brakes had been above 70 km/h.
DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control helps the driver to maintain a specified (timed) distance from the vehicle in front when travelling at speeds of 0 to 200 km/h.
The BAS PLUS Brake Assist system helps to prevent rear-end collisions. If the radar sensors identify a potential collision and the driver applies the brake, BAS PLUS is primed to apply pressure to the brakes appropriate to the situation, using the stopping distance available.
If a potential collision is identified at a speed between 7 and 250 km/h and the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently early, the PRE-SAFE® brake system emits visual and audible signals. If the driver does not respond to this warning, the PRE-SAFE® brake initiates independent partial braking 1.6 seconds before the calculated impact at a deceleration rate of up to 4 m/s2 and activates a series of PRE-SAFE® measures. If the system categorises the situation as highly critical and there is still no reaction from the driver, an independent full brake application can be initiated automatically 0.6 seconds before what is considered an unavoidable impact. Thanks to this the speed at impact and thus the severity of injuries can be reduced.
The Active Lane Keeping Assist feature warns the driver by means of a discreet vibration of the steering wheel as soon as he unintentionally drifts across the lane markings which have been registered by the system, and leaves the lane he is in. If the driver does not react, braking is applied to individual wheels as required. If, however, prior to crossing the lane, the indicator had been actuated or the steering wheel firmly turned, the system assumes that the lane change is intentional and does not react.
The Active Blind Spot Assist helps the driver to avoid dangers caused by other vehicles to the left and right of, as well as behind, the vehicle, when turning or changing lanes. Close-proximity radar sensors monitor the difficult-to-see areas of the blind spot at speeds of between 30 km/h and 250 km/h. If the system detects another vehicle within monitoring range, a hazard warning triangle lights up in the corresponding exterior mirror. If the driver then operates the indicator, an additional audible warning is sounded. This also happens if vehicles move from two lanes away into the lane alongside the driver. If the driver does not react to the warning signal, the system can automatically brake the individual wheels in order to prevent a possible accident.
The ATTENTION ASSIST function is particularly helpful on long journeys and when driving at night; the system warns the driver if it detects signs of failing attention and increasing weariness.
Between 80 and 180 km/h, ATTENTION ASSIST warns the driver visually and audibly as soon as it detects any signs of drowsiness or inattention. The background: sensors analyse driving behaviour to detect any changes compared with the previously determined individual driver profile.
The ADAPTIVE BRAKE system improves ride comfort and safety by helping to execute critical braking manoeuvres with the basic function of the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and making difficult driving situations easier with convenience functions.
Hill-Start Assist helps the driver to avoid rolling forwards or backwards when moving off on a slope. The vehicle is held up briefly once the driver has taken his foot off the brake. There is enough time to move the foot to the accelerator pedal and move off, and the vehicle is prevented from rolling immediately.
The HOLD function is activated by briefly depressing the brake pedal again. This holds the vehicle at a standstill without having to brake. "HOLD" is displayed in the instrument cluster. The brake is released automatically as soon as the accelerator is pressed.
The "brake drying" function removes the film of water that forms on the brake discs in wet conditions. This ensures that the full effect of the brakes is put to work immediately.
With the "priming" option, the brake linings are primed immediately after the driver takes his foot the accelerator quickly.
The Light Package incorporates the Intelligent Light System, which improves visibility in dark conditions by adjusting its bi-xenon headlamps to the current driving situation. Illumination is wider on a country road, for example, and on motorways the range is significantly increased.
The system also features enhanced fog lamps as well as active light and cornering light functions and Adaptive Highbeam Assist. This helps you to detect pedestrians, cyclists or other obstacles at an earlier stage than with conventional low-beam headlamps. The system further optimises road illumination.
A camera is used to control headlamp range adjustment and the main beams in such a way that the road receives the best possible illumination in line with the current driving scenario and the road users ahead. The main beams are automatically switched on if no other road users are detected. This ensures that abrupt changes in light intensity are avoided and replaced by gentle transitions.
The reversing camera offers convenience and added safety. Integrated in the boot lid, the camera transmits an image of the area behind the vehicle to the COMAND screen. The camera image not only makes parking easier but also aids in manoeuvring on difficult terrain. The reversing camera is available in conjunction with COMAND Online.
The Lane Keeping Assist feature warns the driver by means of a discreet vibration of the steering wheel as soon as he unintentionally drifts across the lane markings which have been registered by the system, and leaves the lane he is in. If, prior to crossing the lane, the indicator had been actuated or the steering wheel firmly turned, the system assumes that the lane change is intentional and does not react.
The Blind Spot Assist helps the driver to avoid dangers caused by other vehicles to the left and right of, as well as behind, the vehicle, when turning or changing lane. If the system detects a vehicle in the hard-to-see blind spot areas being monitored, a warning triangle lights up in the relevant exterior mirror.
Mercedes-Benz stands for automotive safety. That's why our vehicles can support their passengers even in critical driving situations, so that every journey is as safe as it can possibly be.
The BAS PLUS Brake Assist system helps to avoid rear-end collisions. If the radar sensors identify a potential collision and the driver applies the brake, BAS PLUS is primed to supply the braking pressure required in order to make full use of the available braking distance.
The preventive PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system can recognise critical driving situations and, if necessary, pre-emptively activate reversible safety systems to help reduce the risk of injury to the vehicle occupants.
This is based on PRE-SAFE® continuously monitoring sensor data from systems such as ESP® and BAS and identifying driving situations such as oversteer/understeer and emergency stops.
If the typical characteristics of a critical driving situation are identified, safety systems can respond within a fraction of a second. The electronic belt tensioners are activated, the electrically adjustable front-passenger seat (only in conjunction with Memory Package) is moved to a more "favourable" crash position, and the side windows are closed automatically.
Cars from Mercedes-Benz have a host of safety systems to prevent accidents. Should the worst come to the worst, however, a number of different safety measures are activated to give the best possible protection for all the vehicle occupants.
The airbags for the driver and passenger provide protection for the occupants' head and torso in a collision, and also afford additional stability to the entire body. They are thus able to mitigate the severity of injuries sustained in an accident. If the crash sensors detect a collision at or above a defined level of severity, the airbags are deployed.
The active bonnet function can reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians or cyclists if it detects that they are involved in a collision with the bonnet. To cushion the blow, the active bonnet can raise approximately five centimetres at the rear by means of spring force.
Activated when the system registers a rear-end collision, NECK-PRO head restraints for driver and front passenger can reduce the risk of sustaining a whiplash injury. If a collision occurs, they ensure that the head receives support and the load on the spine is reduced at an earlier stage by employing a spring mechanism to move the head restraints forwards and upwards. The restraints can be manually returned to the original position after activation.
The roof frame structure of the A-pillars is particularly stable. The A-pillars have been reinforced with tubing, offering effective occupant protection together with the roll-over bars in case of an overturn. The roll-over bars’ cassettes are fully integrated in the head restraints on the rear seats and fastened to the area behind the rear seat backrest in the bodyshell. They can be extended in fractions of a second as soon as the airbag control system’s crash sensors detect the risk of an accident.
To reduce consequential damage after an accident and support the work of the rescue services, a number of different actions are initiated, depending on the type and severity of the accident:
 Part of the optional Driving Assistance package Plus. Part of the optional COMAND Online multimedia system. Available only in conjunction with COMAND Online. Part of the optional Lane Tracking package