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Upcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class driver assistance package to enable semi-automated driving

Mercedes-Benz will introduce a new driver assistance package for the E-Class coming next spring which will enable semi-automated driving on freeways, highways and in city traffic; allow the car to be moved into and out of tight parking spaces from outside using a smartphone app; and facilitate autonomous braking to mitigate dangerous situations.

Components of the new Driver Assistance Package for the future E-Class include: Intelligent Drive next Level; Active Brake Assist; Evasive Steering Assist; Remote Parking Pilot; Car-to-X Communication; Digital Car Key; PRE-SAFE Impulse Side; and PRE-SAFE Sound.

Intelligent Drive next Level. This system sees Mercedes-Benz taking the next step along the road to autonomous driving. This assistance system not only provides a Distance Pilot DISTRONIC function—automatically maintaining the correct distance to vehicles in front by adjusting the car’s higher desired speed to that of a slower-moving vehicle ahead before accelerating back up to the desired speed once the way ahead is clear again—it can also follow traffic ahead in its lane at speeds from 0 up to 200 km/h (124 mph).


The system utilizes a further-developed multi-purpose stereo camera behind the windshield and new radar sensors around the vehicle to detect and orientate itself on road markings, the vehicle in front and also its surroundings. At speeds up to 130 km/h(81 mph), the system is not dependent on clearly visible lane markings; it can also intervene actively if the lines on the road are unclear—as is often the case at road works—or even if there are no lines on the road at all.

Bosch: assisted driving systems to generate €1B sales by 2016
Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management at Bosch, recently said that said the company sees the rapid growth of automated driving assistance systems garnering it €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in annual sales by 2016.
Bosch posted group sales of €48.9 billion in 2014.
Last year Bosch sold more than 50 million surround sensors for driver assistance systems and has 2,000 engineers working on refining these technologies, up 700 on two years ago.

In combination with COMAND Online, the optional Speed Limit Pilot sub-function can autonomously adjust the vehicle’s speed in response to camera-detected speed limits or speed limits logged in the navigation system, e.g. in Germany 50 km/h (31 mph) in towns or 100 km/h (62 mph) on country roads.

Despite active longitudinal and lateral guidance with significantly enhanced steering assistance, Intelligent Drive next Level continues to be designed as a semi-automated assistance system in which the driver still needs to keep their hands on the steering wheel.

The new Active Brake Assist with extended functionality warns the driver of imminent crash situations, optimally assists the driver during emergency braking and, if necessary, also initiates automatic autonomous braking.

Active Brake Assist likewise uses the radar sensors installed in the vehicle as well as the stereo-multi-purpose camera. These enable it to detect whether the vehicle in front is slowing down, stopping or is stationary. If the system detects a risk of collision and the driver fails to respond to a collision warning or is late responding, the system automatically initiates autonomous braking.

The Cross-Traffic Function of Active Brake Assist also detects cross-traffic and pedestrians in the danger area in front of the vehicle. Also in these cases, Active Brake Assist first warns the driver if there is a risk of collision, providing assistance if the driver fails to brake hard enough. If the driver fails to react, the system initiates braking automatically. If a pedestrian enters the danger area relatively late, the assistance system even brakes simultaneously with the warning to allow the speed of the vehicle to be reduced even faster.

Active Brake Assist is active in a speed range from 7 to 250 km/h (4.4 to 155 mph) for moving objects and can react to stationary objects between 7 and 100 km/h. Under ideal conditions, it can thus prevent a collision with stationary vehicles or pedestrians up to a speed of around 65 km/h (40 mph).

In end-of-tailback scenarios with no opportunity for evasive action, Active Brake Assist can automatically reduce the risk of a collision up to even 90 km/h (56 mph). Depending on the situation, the cross-traffic function is capable of preventing collisions with crossing traffic in a speed range up to around 70 km/h (44 miles) or of reducing the severity of the collision.

The intelligent functions of the driver assistance package from Mercedes-Benz also include Evasive Steering Assist. This can help the driver to avoid a pedestrian detected by the assistance system using the radar sensors and multi-purpose stereo camera. If the driver initiates an evasive maneuver by turning the steering wheel, the system provides assistance by adding precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid the pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the in order to pass safely.

While the philosophy behind Evasive Steering Assist is to provide the driver with significant assistance, the initiative to take evasive action must come from the driver. This is because, if evasive action were automatic, a previously inattentive driver might be so surprised by the spontaneous movement of the steering wheel that they might react incorrectly and, for example, intuitively attempt to countersteer.

The intelligent assistance systems in the new driver assistance package from Mercedes-Benz also include proven systems that have been further developed in terms of their mode of operation and the sensors they use. Active Lane Keeping Assist can help stop the driver from unintentionally changing lane, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes, including in the case of broken lines and risk of collision, e.g. with oncoming traffic or fast overtaking vehicles. Active Blind Spot Assist can warn of the risk of a lateral collision and likewise correctively intervene at the last moment to prevent a collision. PRE-SAFE PLUS can protect against collisions with traffic following behind.

Remote Parking Pilot. This system allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of parking spaces from outside using a smartphone app, allowing the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is very tight.


Operation is via a smartphone app (Android, iOS); the driver’s smartphone must be within around three meters of the vehicle. The driver must unlock the vehicle before it is moved out of the parking space. He or she can then establish a connection with their already authorized smartphone and select one of the available maneuvers for guiding the car out of the parking space. Likewise prior to parking, the driver can select one of the parking scenarios—e.g., parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, left or right, forward or reverse.

The vehicle can then be moved by control from outside. The parking scenario is enacted automatically—including steering, braking and gear direction changes—as long as the driver continues to provide a confirmation gesture on the smartphone. The driver monitors the process from outside the vehicle and still has complete responsibility for their vehicle during the entire parking process.

In addition to the parking scenarios, there is an Explore Mode available, which allows the vehicle to be maneuvered up to ten meters forward or backward, avoiding detected obstacles as it moves—when driving into a garage, for example.

The Remote Parking Pilot can only operate in conjunction with the Parking Pilot PARKTRONIC’s ultrasonic sensors. The newly developed system from Mercedes‑Benz is available in conjunction with the optional Parking Pilot with 360° camera, KEYLESS-GO system and automatic transmission.

Car-to-X Communication. In 2013, Mercedes-Benz introduced car-to-car networking in the form of a retrofit solution; now the first fully integral Car-to-X solution goes into series production. The mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road, for example, can effectively allow the driver to see around corners or through obstacles. This means that the driver receives an earlier warning than previously in the event of imminent danger, such as vehicle in an accident.


As well as being able to receive hazard warnings, every vehicle equipped with Car‑to-X technology can also send these warnings to other road users. As a result of the integration of the Car-to-X system into the existing vehicle systems, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are able to detect a variety of sources of danger, for example a breakdown or slippery roads, automatically. The driver does not need to do anything.

For Car-to-X Communication, Mercedes-Benz uses the vehicle’s integral mobile-phone technology as, thanks to its widespread use, it can unleash the potential of Car-to-X technology in the fastest time. In the Daimler Vehicle Backend, the data are aggregated, checked for plausibility and forwarded to other similarly equipped vehicles in the relevant vicinity.

The system is configured to receive information from approaching rescue vehicles, such as police or fire-fighting vehicles, if the relevant data are provided by the respective operators in future. The dangerous situation in which drivers do not hear sirens could therefore become a thing of the past.

Preparations are likewise under way for integrating further sources of data.

Car-to-X Communication operates in the background and does not distract the driver’s attention from the road.

Digital Car Key. This drive authorization system uses Near Field Communication technology and allows the driver’s smartphone to be used as a vehicle key.

PRE-SAFE Impulse Side. Unlike in the case of a frontal collision, there is only a limited crumple zone available in the event of a side impact. To do this, the system inflates the air chambers in the side bolsters of the backrest within a fraction of a second when an imminent side impact is detected. This impulse can move the occupant to the side, away from the acute danger area and towards the vehicle centre, thus increasing the distance between occupant and door. At the same time, the impulse is imparted moderately to the occupant, lessening the forces acting on them during the side impact. This can substantially lessen the load exerted on the ribcage by the side collision and greatly reduce the risk of injury.

Tests have shown that the brief impulse does not critically affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle. The system is available as an optional extra for the front seats.

PRE-SAFE Sound. PRE-SAFE Sound emits a short interference signal through the vehicle’s sound system if the risk of a collision is detected. This signal can trigger the stapedius reflex, which prepares the ears for the noise and thus lessens the risk of hearing discomfort or damage.



This is one step down from what I heard Daimler were introducing next year:

'Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz now sells a system that can pilot a car on a freeway, but its design requires the driver to keep a hand on the wheel. By 2016, the company plans to introduce Autobahn Pilot, which will allow hands-free highway driving with autonomous overtaking of other vehicles.'

However the E-Class is specified here.
Perhaps Autobahn Pilot is for the S-Class initially.


Good news for future automated city e-buses and automated UBER type taxis too.


Skynet is coming!!!

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