On the right track: the way to autonomous driving.
Safely on course with assistance systems.
Staying reliably and constantly in the lane as a driver? No problem! And yet no driver is perfect. Particularly on quiet roads and after a long journey, when it is growing dark, drivers often become tired. Their concentration declines and they become inattentive. A short absent-minded glance out of a side window. A hand on the infotainment system. Or an animated conversation with a passenger. And all of a sudden you are “off course” – with luck only for a moment. In the worst case, you can cut in front of other vehicles or get dangerously close to the edge of the road. Often there is a moment of panic or even excessive countersteering, which exacerbates the danger.
“Shake awake” from the thinking assistant.
Active Lane Keeping Assist can always intervene if there is a critical lane-keeping situation. If the driver unintentionally crosses a solid line on either side of the lane, a display in the instrument cluster warns the driver. If necessary, the system can even use ESP® to brake the wheels on the opposite side and prevent the vehicle from crossing the line. This way the vehicle stays safely in lane. And yet the system does not merely react to changes in lane-keeping. It “thinks” too! Active Lane Keeping Assist only intervenes if the vehicle leaves the lane without the driver’s “consent”.
For example, if an indicator is flashing or if the vehicle accelerates to overtake, the action is recognised as “intended” and Active Lane Keeping Assist remains in the background.
A milestone for safety and comfort.
Active Lane Keeping Assist, which is available for the C-, E- and S-Class and also for the GLK, CLS, GL, GLE and SL, is not only a milestone for safe and comfortable driving today. It is also fundamental for tomorrow’s autonomous driving. Active Lane Keeping Assist is one example of approximately a dozen other Mercedes-Benz vehicle assistance systems, which not only act as attentive passengers, but also are so intelligent that they can distinguish between intentional and unintentional actions. Their perfection is becoming more and more that solid backbone for Mercedes-Benz vehicles that will master autonomous driving in ten to fifteen years.
“Autonomous driving is one of the greatest innovations since the invention of the automobile. Here, Mercedes-Benz is taking the pioneering role and consistently pursuing development,” said Professor Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Active Blind Spot Assist.
“I didn’t see that!” and “Where did he come from all of a sudden?” – drivers know remarks like these. They know from experience that is not unlikely to miss seeing a vehicle because it is in their “blind spot”. That is why a “glance over the shoulder” is compulsory and is drummed into every beginner by their driving instructor. But then the driver cannot see the road ahead, at least for a moment. That is why Mercedes-Benz developed Active Blind Spot Assist.
Brake independently to avoid danger.
Preparing to overtake, take a brief glance at the next lane, indicate and … there might almost have been an accident. But Active Blind Spot Assist has detected the other vehicle that was in the blind spot of the exterior mirror. Instantly, the driver is warned by a red warning signal in the glass of the exterior mirror. If the driver overlooks this warning and indicates to change lane, the red warning signal flashes and an additional warning tone sounds. If necessary, the system also brakes independently or countersteers to prevent an accident at the last minute. Active Blind Spot Assist works with radar sensors that recognise the situation reliably, including in the dark or in fog.
They are part of the “senses” of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle that, combined with computing power on board, will make future autonomous driving possible – and can already be in use today. Active Blind Spot Assist is available for the C-, E- and S-Class and also for the GLK, CLS, GL, GLE and SL.