For 50 years, data from real traffic accidents has also been incorporated into the Mercedes-Benz safety development programme. Since 1969, the accident research department has analysed and reconstructed collisions that actually took place.
When conducting safety research, Mercedes-Benz also collaborates in networks. In the 1970s, the company developed a total of more than 30 experimental safety vehicles (ESF) for the worldwide research project of Experimental Safety Vehicles (ESV).
In the 1974 ESF 24, for example, which was based on the S-Class of the 116 model series, several pioneering innovations in passive safety were tested, with driver airbags and belt force limiters eventually debuting in the S-Class 126 model series in 1981. Seats with integrated belt anchors first entered series production in 1989 in the 129 model series SL.