Mercedes-Benz is leading the charge toward autonomous driving vehicles as it adapts its new Intelligent Drive package technology to its C, E, S, and CLS-Class models.
The technology allows the vehicle to drive autonomously in certain conditions like stop and go traffic and also can assist the driver under normal road conditions when they might become distracted.
You still play a role in driving the vehicle (for now), but the Intelligent Drive package can help get you from point A to Point B safely while you relax.
Rush hour traffic jams are a way of life in big cities. Americans spend almost 7 billion hours a year stuck in stop and go traffic and it is getting worse every year.
The bumper to bumper traffic can come to a stop in an instant and then have bursts of movement. If you become distracted for one reason or another, you can easily misjudge when to start and stop.
If you misjudge too poorly, you can get into an expensive fender-bender. Mercedes-Benz’s Intelligent Drive package uses a Distronic Plus assistance system to keep you from hitting the car in front of you if you get distracted.
Distronic Plus Assistance System
The Distronic Plus assistance system relies on a series of sensors placed on the vehicle to monitor traffic conditions so you don’t hit the car in front of you.
The Distronic Plus system uses sensors that are placed all around your vehicle so you get a 360-degree view of what’s going around you. Normal blind spots that you can’t see with your mirrors are eliminated.
The sensors detect when cars around you are moving and when they come to a stop from as far away as 164 feet. The system uses an automatic cruise control that makes sure the vehicle moves when the traffic starts to flow.
There are sensors in the front bumper to alert the system to when the vehicles in front of you have stopped and the sensors will activate the brakes so you stop. The sensors will also slow your vehicle down when a car next to you speeds up and cuts in front of you.
Instead of getting weary by all the start and stopping when manually driving a car in a traffic jam, you can now sit back in your Mercedes and let the car take over while you relax.
The Distronic Plus assistance system detects things like pedestrians walking out in front of you, street signs and road marking as well as other vehicles when you are on regular roads.
The sensors will alert the vehicle to stop if it senses you are about to go through a stop sign and it will steer your car back into the lane you have been driving in when you start to fade across the markings on the road.
Finding a parking space in a busy city can seemingly take forever. The sensors do the work for you in a Mercedes-Benz CLA.
The sensors will determine if a parking space is big enough to fit your car in and then the system will steer your car into that parking space. This feature will soon be available on other models.
Mercedes-Benz is looking toward the future to make its vehicles fully autonomous so you can relax throughout your whole driving experience.
The next step is incorporating detailed GPS maps into the system so you can plug in an address and let the vehicle take you all the way there without you having to do anything but sit in comfort and rest.
The Mercedes-Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive research car has already accomplished this in test drives and it should be incorporated in regular vehicles in just a few years.