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Mercedes-Benz unveiling Concept GLA compact SUV at Auto Shanghai; laser projectors in headlamps

Mercedes-Benz will show the Concept GLA compact premium-class SUV at the Auto Shanghai motor show (21 to 29 April 2013. The new concept vehicle is powered by a 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine rated at 155 kW (211 hp) with a displacement of 1991 cc. Its power is transmitted to the road via the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

The Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment—this is a sporty and more coupé-like evolution of this category of vehicle. It also makes clear the further potential of our compact vehicle architecture, which provides the basis for the A- and B-Class models that led the German market in their respective segments in the first quarter of 2013.

—Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing

Concept GLA. Click to enlarge.

The front headlamps of the Concept GLA are each fitted with a laser-beam projector. These not only provide the light to drive by, but are also capable of projecting pictures or films onto a screen or other surface. Any format that can be operated through COMAND Online can serve as a source: pictures or films from a smartphone, the internet, or from a hard drive.

Alternatively, the action can be produced live. The Concept GLA is fitted with two cameras, housed in the front roof rail. And these can be used for more than just 3D images taken as the Concept GLA drives along: the HD cameras can be removed and, for example, fitted to a mountain bike helmet. An additional lamp unit in each camera ensures that the lighting is right, whatever the situation. As an alternative to the projection option, films may also be viewed inside the car on the COMAND Online screen.

The laser-beam projectors are more than simply an academic exercise on the part of the engineers and designers at Mercedes-Benz. As a further enhancement of the head-up display, they could also help to improve road safety: the technology could be used, for example, to project the directional instructions from the navigation system onto the road in the form of arrows—in this way other road users, too, would be able to see where a driver is heading.



Future improved driver assistance could develop much faster than many will admit due to the historical fast development of the electronics components required and the potential of this new large market.

Current 200,000+/year road fatalities and over 2,000,000+/year injuries and very costly damages could be greatly reduced when the majority of new vehicles is equipped.

Eventually, drivers assistance units could be mandated about the same way as 'air bags' were?

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