Push for further autonomous technology likely to see motorway and parking control systems in the next-generation E-Class
Andrew Frankel Autocar
22 April 2015

Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche has confirmed that the next steps in the company’s drive to create truly autonomous cars is ‘imminent.’

He also confirmed that the new technologies would address both parking issues and driving on the motorway; scenarios where the environment is more predictable and easily managed than, say, on a country road. His use of the word imminent strongly suggests the features will be launched on the new E-Class, which is Mercedes’ next all-new model line, a concept of which will be shown at the Frankfurt show in September.

Zetsche’s mentioning of ‘the highway’ is believed to refer to the Mercedes’s Highway Pilot technology making its production debut, which was first demonstrated in 2012. It allows a car using Distronic Plus cruise control to not only reduce speed to that of the car in front (as has been possible for years) but to check the outside lane and, if it’s clear, indicate, pull out, overtake the vehicle and, when safe, pull back into its lane - all without any input at all from the driver.

The parking technology is thought to enable the car to park itself without anyone needing to be in the car. So, if there is a space into which the car will fit but without sufficient clearance to allow the driver a dignified exit, he or she can get out in advance and ask the car to park itself. However the dream, of entering a multi-storey car park, getting out the other side of the barrier and telling the car to find its own space and then return on demand remains, for now at least, exactly that.

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Comments
5

22 April 2015
Can't remember exactly when it was, I'm guessing 35 years ago, I read an article in my father's Toyota Owners Magazine about a Carina which due to congestion in Japanese cities, Toyota had adapted to self-park - ie no need to open doors resulting in smaller garage footprint. Perhaps someone with a better memory than me knows about this?

22 April 2015
I love this technology, bring it on. However what about the poor person with a normal car who gets 2 new E classes self parked really close either side - how are they going to get in their car?!

 

 

 

22 April 2015
Easy solution to the the 2 E class problem there.

Drive a battered Austin Maestro with tape holding the bumpers on and no wheel trim and lots of surface rust.

While I had that car, I was always given plenty of space.

25 May 2015
Drivers of E-Class Mercs are unlikely to worry!

22 April 2015
We have had self-parking cars for a while (I remember when it was a $6,000 on the Lexus LS back about ten years ago) and we have lane departure warnings and radar-based cruise control for a while as well. The only difference would be that instead of giving you a warning when you drift the car would keep you between the lines. It will maintain staying a safe distance behind the car in front of you as well. The only news then is the keeping car between the lines then.

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