15 April 2005

Mercedes has revealed two new safety-related features to be incorporated into the new S-class, which will be unveiled at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The new S-class is described by insiders as the most technologically advanced car ever to make mainstream production. It will be the first Mercedes to feature Brake Assist Plus – a system which automatically activates a brake booster when radar sensors mounted in the front bumper predict a critical braking situation is about to occur. Using information from the sensors, which monitor the road ahead, newly developed software determines the distance to cars ahead and both warns the driver when they get too close, and provides added braking power if it appears that a collision is about to take place. Simulations found the accident rate was reduced from 44 per cent to 11 per cent with the technology, which Mercedes says will eventually be made available to other car makers. Statistically, every fifth car accident involves a front to rear impact, says Mercedes. The Brake Assist Plus system can also stop the car automatically without the driver touching the brakes, although this can’t be featured without changing European laws. Mercedes has also refined its Pre-Safe system. As well as pre-tensioning the seatbelts and putting the passenger seat to its optimum position in critical situations, it is also capable of closing windows and inflating front seat cushions to increase the effectiveness of the side airbags.

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