MAGIC BODY CONTROL looks ahead and compensates for any unevenness in the road.


With the world’s first suspension system with “eyes”, Mercedes-Benz is redefining ride comfort.

Like riding on a flying carpet.

Mercedes-Benz is presenting a new innovation: the new S-Class is the world’s first car capable of detecting road surface undulations in advance. If ROAD SURFACE SCAN detects such unevenness by means of the stereo camera in the windscreen, MAGIC BODY CONTROL sets up the active suspension beforehand to deal with the situation.

This helps to ensure a unique level of ride comfort. “You almost glide over the road, as if you are on a flying carpet,” explains Stefan Cytrynski, the Project Manager responsible for MAGIC BODY CONTROL.

Bumps in the road are detected in advance by ROAD SURFACE SCAN and compensated for by MAGIC BODY CONTROL:

Satisfying all requirements.

The highly sensitive and innovative sensor system used by MAGIC BODY CONTROL is optionally available on vehicles starting with 8-cylinder engine variants. As part of this system, the suspension can be optionally adjusted to highly comfortable or sportily rigid via the “Comfort” and “Sport” settings.

It is therefore possible to select at will whether any unevenness in the road should be compensated for to impressive effect, or whether more feedback should be provided via the road surface conditions. “We want to make it possible for drivers to feel as little of the road surface as possible, if that is what they want,” says Cytrynski.

Should the driver want to, MAGIC BODY CONTROL is able to compensate in advance for any unevenness in the road, even at a speed of 130 km/h.
The stereo camera measures the road surface conditions up to 15 metres in front of the vehicle and boasts an extremely high level of accuracy.

Technology that looks ahead.

ROAD SURFACE SCAN uses a stereo camera positioned behind the windscreen. “It measures the road up to 15 metres in front of the vehicle and with a height measurement accuracy of more than around 3 millimetres,” explains Cytrynski, commenting on how the system works. This provides a precise picture of the road surface profile. Together with the information on the driving conditions, the control unit continually calculates the best control strategy for dealing with unevenness in the road. Based on this, the active suspension is able to make the damping harsher or softer within fractions of a second in advance and individually for each separate wheel, and increase or decrease the load on each wheel via the active hydraulics. This can help to reduce vehicle body movements significantly. Since ROAD SURFACE SCAN is a camera-based system, it is able to function during the day in conditions of good visibility and on suitably surfaced roads as well as at speeds up to 130 km/h.

Comprising ROAD SURFACE SCAN and Active Body Control, the innovative MAGIC BODY CONTROL makes for a magical unit.

A magical combination.

MAGIC BODY CONTROL is based on the ABC (Active Body Control) suspension featuring active suspension which improves both comfort and driving dynamics. In the case of Active Body Control from Mercedes-Benz, the four spring struts are fitted with hydraulic cylinders to enable the force in each spring strut to be adjusted individually. As a result, the vertical, rolling and pitching movements to which the body can be subjected are almost completely compensated for. The control unit receives information on the current driving conditions from various acceleration sensors and compares it with the data from the pressure sensors in the spring struts and the level sensors on the control arms. Subsequently the system calculates control signals for the servo-hydraulic valves on the front and rear axle, in order to meter the flow of oil appropriately. All of this results in a magical combination of optimum comfort and impressive driving dynamics.

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