He said: “The great advantage of automating driving functions is that, in the future, fewer accidents will be caused by driver error. However, fully automated and driverless vehicles also come up against physical limits and there will undoubtedly be mixed traffic consisting of automated and non-automated vehicles for many years.”
The heavily modified GLE also uses a new interior lighting function incorporated into the driver’s sun visor. It has been developed in response to recent studies that reveal a vitalising light source similar to that of mood lamps can significantly improve driver alertness on long journeys.
As part of an update to its existing Pre-Safe belt tensioners, Mercedes has also equipped the ESF 2019 with Pre-Safe Curve, which warns the driver if the entry speed to corners is too high by lightly tightening the seatbelt.
A new Pre-Safe Child function preventatively tensions the seatbelt and inflates impact protection elements around the child seat before an impact, reducing the loads acting on the child. This new function is also able to monitor the seat installation and the child’s vital signs.
On its outside, the new safety research vehicle features digital surfaces incorporated into the grille, rear window and roof. Developed in a programme that aims to build people’s trust in automated vehicles, these digital surfaces communicate directions and other vital information as well as warn other road users and pedestrians of impending danger, even when parked.
Another new development heavily tipped to appear on next year’s all-new S-Class is Mercedes’ Digital Light – a high-definition light source with a resolution of more than two million pixels that is claimed to be dazzle-free.
A further future safety function being tested by Mercedes is a small robot that doubles as a warning triangle to secure accident sites or breakdowns. It deploys from the rear and positions itself at the side of the road. An additional warning triangle folds out of the roof.