The revised Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be the most advanced autonomous model on sale when it arrives in autumn this year.
Due to make its appearance at the Shanghai motor show next week, Autocar has been given a sneak peek of the car which confirms that aesthetic changes are only minor and include new front and rear bumpers and headlights. There is also a new grille design, integrated exhausts and ultra-range LEDS. Inside, the car features fully bonded optic glass across two 12.3-inch display screens.
According to Kirk Petzer, S-Class product boss, the subtle design changes were done “wisely and sensitively” following customer feedback on the existing model.
The most notable developments to the S-Class surround its driver assistance systems, particularly those which facilitate advanced autonomous capabilities.
The systems include a newly developed Active Distance function that provides fully autonomous acceleration and braking over any given journey programmed into its sat-nav, in conjunction with an updated Active Speed Limit Assist system.
A revised Distronic cruise control system, which Mercedes says will eventually filter down into all of its future models, offers a new autonomous driving function that promises improved safety as well as a set-and-forget speed limit function which strictly adheres to both posted and temporary speed limits, whether in town, country roads or on the motorway.
Crucially, it is able to autonomously adjust the speed according to the route, braking for corners, decelerating when approaching motorway exits and stopping when the driver indicates to turn across the path of oncoming traffic.