Issue: Dec 2014


Real life safety



by Claudio Francisco

Mercedes-Benz Accident Research is providing “Real Life Safety” to drivers and passengers through technology designed to help prevent accidents – and to minimize injuries when a collision is unavoidable. 

Working under the umbrella concept of “Intelligent Drive”, Mercedes-Benz is turning vehicles into “intelligent partners”. Safety systems detect a comprehensive range of dangers and offer support through visual, audible and/or haptic warnings. Some systems are able to take corrective action in an emergency, such as the autonomous application of the brakes to prevent an accident or lessen its severity. This combination of sensors and intelligent systems is a milestone on the road to autonomous and accident-free driving. Partially automated driving is already available to drivers of new Mercedes-Benz E and S-Class models: the new DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot is capable of steering the vehicle mainly autonomously through traffic jams.

The vehicle connects to its environment through stereo cameras and multi-stage radar sensors. With the new stereo multi-purpose camera (SMPC), stereo camera, and “6D Vision” technology, the visual range of the vehicle is greatly increased. The camera provides spatial perception of up to 50 meters in front of the vehicle and environment recognition of 500 meters. Vehicles driving ahead, oncoming and crossing traffic, pedestrians as well as a variety of traffic signs and road markings are detected and assigned a spatial classification. The data from short-range radar sensors positioned around the vehicle as well as from long-range radar sensors with medium-range detection capabilities provides information on the distance from detected objects. The information from the camera and radar system flows into a control unit where it is intelligently correlated. This “sensor fusion” enables the synergetic cooperation of the vehicle’s active and passive safety technology.



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