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Episode 3: Technology for the long view.

Good light and good sight are an important basis for safe driving. The development of headlamps, windscreen wipers, etc., accompanied the history of innovations of the automobile – and, by way of the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle, it already extends into the future.

Mercedes-Benz always leads the way when it comes to automotive development.

Good visibility provides safety when driving. For this reason, climate control and ventilation systems ensure windows that don’t fog up on the inside. On the outside, the windscreen wiper removes water in poor weather, from fine mists to torrential downpours. The headlamps light up the night.

Moreover, man has long since been supported by an extensive range of assistance systems. Their sensors never tire, some see farther than the eye and some systems are even unfazed by such adversities as fog, for example. Mercedes-Benz always leads the way when it comes to automotive development and provides the best technology in all areas.

The headlamp turns night into day.

The sooner you see a hazardous situation, the better you are able to react. The current technology goes by the name MULTIBEAM LED. The fully freely configurable high-definition light distribution in the E-Class by means of individual light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for the first time allows the digitization of all functions of the Intelligent Light System in dipped-beam and main-beam operation without any mechanical components. In a world first, the active light function is realised for the first time purely electronically.

This new dimension in headlamp technology automatically illuminates the roadway to unusually bright effect and with unprecedented, precisely controlled light distribution without dazzling other road users.

Night turned into day: headlamps extend man's range of vision in the dark.
Cornering Light – Motorway Light – Active Curve Illumination: three of the lighting situations of modern-day automotive lighting.

The best in every era.

MULTIBEAM LED, Intelligent Light System, bi-xenon, halogen, filament or carbide: Mercedes-Benz and the predecessor brands have always provided the best light in every era, all the way back to the early days of the automobile.

The next revolution has already happened: communication between the control units also provides the headlamps with valuable signals.

That is the reason why the technology is also integrated into the comprehensive Intelligent Drive concept at Mercedes-Benz. Take Active Curve Illumination, for example – it follows the steering angle and the light cone dynamically illuminates the course of the roadway. Thanks to a camera behind the windscreen, the headlamps now know even sooner that the vehicle is approaching a curve and Active Curve Illumination is controlled even more precisely and better.

A brief chronicle of lamps: lighting technology from Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle.

Light-emitting diodes, communication, lighting situations: the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle demonstrates accident prevention and Intelligent Drive on yet another higher level. This also includes new possibilities of light in a maybe not so distant future, when autonomous driving is part of the daily routine.

In autonomous driving mode, lighting systems can take on additional functions rather than merely illuminating the road for the person driving: a pedestrian stands at the edge of the street and wants to cross it? The F 015 courteously stops, signals a safe crossing with the lighting module at the vehicle front and in addition projects a virtual pedestrian crossing onto the pavement with a laser beam. In the meantime, the passengers are busy doing other things. Dreams of the future? Absolutely. But not necessarily utopia. Because the Mercedes-Benz research vehicles are ahead of our time with a clear view to future possibilities.

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion: the virtual pedestrian crossing signals the passer-by at the edge of the street that he can cross it safely.

Numerous sensors and systems that assist the driver and keep a 360-degree watch around the car already exist today. Ultrasound, radar, infra-red, camera, car-to-x: at night, in fog, on straights and around corners – they monitor the space extensively, the control units communicate their data to each other and create a comprehensive safety array around the vehicle. They tirelessly issue their signals and warnings when needed. As a result, driving offers maximum possible comfort and safety.

Gallery.

The reinvention of the windscreen wiper: MAGIC VISION CONTROL.

MAGIC VISION CONTROL.

We also need another system for good visibility: the windscreen wiper. Its most advanced stage currently is MAGIC VISION CONTROL, developed by Mercedes-Benz, and a highly effective innovation. It cleans the windscreen without causing the annoying jet of water on the glass we know from conventional windscreen washer systems that briefly restricts the driver’s vision.

The wiper blade contains tiny discharge openings that transport the heated water directly to where it is needed: onto the windscreen directly ahead of the wiper lip. There is no sign of the cleansing jet of water, the occupants don’t notice a thing and the windscreen is cleaned nonetheless – as if by magic. MAGIC VISION CONTROL even regulates the amount of water dependent on the time of year – less in summer for light dust, more in winter for heavier dirt and road salt. The washer fluid is discharged based on the ambient conditions, such as the outside temperature, the vehicle speed and the particular driving situation, for example. And in roadsters and cabriolets, MAGIC VISION CONTROL makes it possible to clean the windscreen without any spray mist, even with the top down.

Mercedes-Benz has repeatedly taken a close look at the windscreen wiper. Already the Benz predecessor brand was a pioneer: in 1905, car-loving Prince Heinrich von Preußen invented a system and realised it in his own Benz.

The F 100 research vehicle from Mercedes-Benz had a parallel windscreen wiper that ran horizontally across the windscreen – a revolutionary idea.

Technologies for added safety: that is what the Mercedes-Benz brand embodies. Each new technology makes it possible to put even more trust in the car. They assist in the daily routine and ease the burden on the driver in tricky situations.