The assistance system maintains the vehicle at the desired speed and automatically controls the distance between it and the vehicle in front. Additionally, the newly-integrated STEER CONTROL function helps the driver to stay in lane. The system takes the strain off the driver, particularly in traffic jams and stop-and-go traffic, because it autonomously brakes the vehicle and - within certain speed ranges - causes the vehicle to accelerate again.
The braking system increases driving comfort and safety.On one hand it helps to perform critical braking manoeuvres with the basic function of the ABS anti-lock braking system while convenience functions make coping with daily driving situations easier on the other.
By priming the brakes the brake linings are already applied should the driver takes his foot abruptly off the accelerator. The valuable time won as a result shortens the brakes' response time and can thus reduce the stopping distance.
The flashing brake lights can help in an emergency situation to significantly shorten the reaction time of road users following behind. The LED adaptive brake lights thus make an important contribution to preventing rear-end collisions.
Durable LED technology is deployed here, which ensures better recognisability than with conventional bulb sets. In emergency braking the brake lamps flash at a frequency of approx. five hertz, which has been proven to be effective in tests.
The Active Lane Keeping Assist system permanently monitors the road markings. The driver is warned by a discreet vibration of the steering wheel and an audible signal as soon as he unintentionally leaves the identified lane.
Should solid lines be crossed in an uncontrolled manner, this can be countered by an active braking intervention, so that the vehicle is returned to the lane it was in.
Active Blind Spot Assist uses radar and monitors the blind spot areas to the left, right, side and rear of the vehicle at speeds of between 30 and 250 km/h.
If a vehicle is detected within the monitored range, a warning symbol is displayed in the driver's exterior mirror. Should the driver overlook the warning and start to change lanes, the ESP® system can intervene actively and guide the vehicle back into the lane.
In particular on long trips and when driving at night this system can increase driving safety. Based on the driver's actions ATTENTION ASSIST recognises typical signs of fatigue and severe inattentiveness and issues visual and audible warnings of impending microsleep.
The system analyses the driver's driving style at speeds between 60 and 200 km/h, and issues an audible and visual warning as soon as it detects a deviation from the established way of driving.
The system can recognise an emergency stop by the driver and increases the brake pressure within fractions of a second to shorten the stopping distance. To do so, Brake Assist interprets the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed.
The anti-lock braking system (ABS) simultaneously meters the braking power up to the slip threshold so that the vehicle remains steerable. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the automatic brake boosting is turned off again.
The ESP®-based system provides more stability and handling safety in particular when accelerating on bends. If the ESP® sensors register a tendency to understeer, it can reduce this tendency with a targeted brake intervention on the inside wheels.
Depending on the ambient light Headlamp Assist automatically switches the dipped-beam on or off. In particular under fast changing light conditions the system can thus enhance driving safety and relieve the burden on the driver, e.g. when driving through tunnels or in multi-storey car parks.
For the best possible visibility on country roads and motorways, on bends and in foggy conditions, the LED Intelligent Light System automatically adapts to the lighting and driving conditions. Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows continuous long-range illumination of the road ahead without dazzle.
One highlight is the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus. The system provides automatic highbeam control with gentle transitions and adaptive headlamp range adjustment for dipped-beam light. And the really ingenious feature: part of the main beam cones are blanked out for oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead. But the side of the road remains illuminated by the main beam, without any road users being dazzled. Maximum vision also ensures maximum safety.
While the night time accounts for only 20 per cent of all traffic volume, 40 per cent of all fatal accidents happen during that time. This system puts the driver in a position to see people or animals at an earlier stage. They are clearly shown on the multifunction display of the instrument cluster.
A camera working together with two LED infrared headlamps projects objects that might otherwise go unseen onto the display in the instrument cluster. This shows a greyscale picture of the scene ahead of the vehicle, which has sharp resolution and is pleasant on the eyes, in which people and animals that have been registered are highlighted. Additionally, if the spotlight function is switched on, the front headlamp will flash at any person spotted on the passenger's side of the road.
The system is able to recognise speed limits, "no-entry" and "no-overtaking" signs and their cancellation, and show them in the instrument cluster. If the appropriate signs are posted, the system issues a visual and audible warning when the driver enters a street contrary to road traffic regulations against the specified direction of travel.
The camera on the inside of the front windscreen continues to capture signed speed limits, including those on gantry signs or in roadworks, for example. The data are compared with the data held in the navigation system and can be displayed both in the instrument cluster and in the map view.
In particular during emergency braking the anti-locking braking system (ABS) provides more driving safety by preventing the wheels from locking. This assists the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle, for instance during evasive manoeuvres or when braking on a slippery road.
Moving off or accelerating on snow, wet roads or lose ground – under these circumstances ASR acceleration skid control reduces wheel slip to prevent the vehicle from skidding.
In an emergency braking situation BAS PLUS Brake Assist with Cross Traffic Assist can help shorten the stopping distance. The system provides the brake pressure necessary for the situation in the event of danger, as soon as the driver brakes.
Additionally, BAS PLUS Brake Assist with Cross Traffic Assist is, for the first time, able to recognise traffic and pedestrians crossing ahead and can subsequently boost the braking power applied by the driver.
The system warns the driver visually and audibly of insufficient distance to the vehicle travelling ahead or of stationary objects. If COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST detects a dangerous situation it can assist the driver's braking action to ideally prevent a rear-end collision.
The system is able to identify critical handling situations in advance and initiate preventive measures for occupant protection in the event of an impending accident. These include e.g. the reversible belt tensioning or the automatic closing of any open windows.
The system comprises the following functions:
In a collision the airbags help to protect the upper torso and head of driver and front passenger. They also help to stabilise the whole body. This can mitigate the risk of severe injuries in an accident. The deployment of the airbags is commensurate to the severity of the impact.
The two airbags are inflated in two stages. With the front passenger airbag, the adaptive stage ensures that the inflation is varied according to needs, dependent on the seating position and stature of the front passenger.
The bonnet is raised up in a frontal collision with a pedestrian or cyclist. The increased clearance between the bonnet and the components in the engine compartment creates additional deformation space to absorb an impact sooner and thus mitigate the risk of injury.
If the danger of a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian is detected, PRE-SAFE® Brake prompts the driver to act with visual and acoustic warnings. If the driver fails to act, the system can give him an additional, tangible warning by autonomous partial braking which already slows the vehicle down.
If there is still no driver reaction, PRE-SAFE® Brake initiates autonomous emergency braking to prevent an accident or greatly mitigate the impact severity. The combination of radar sensors and a stereo camera makes it possible to register both vehicles moving ahead and stationary obstacles, as well as pedestrians.
In the early phase of a frontal collision the safety belts pull the occupants deeper into the seat. At the moment of peak loads the retracted distance is released again in a controlled manner. This allows PRE-SAFE® Impulse to significantly reduce the risk of injury.
This function works on the front seats through the three-point safety belt system. The major difference between this and conventional systems is that the power pulling in the seat belt can be maintained for a significantly longer period of time than was hitherto usual.
Illuminated seat belt buckle extenders make seat belt fastening easier for rear passengers, and can tension the seat belts in critical situations to increase occupant protection. The beltbag, a type of inflatable belt strap, reduces the loads on the chest during a crash.
In a dangerous situation the PRE-SAFE® system causes the seat belt buckle extender to move down from its neutral position. The tension created in the seat belts holds the passengers in place in a critical driving situation and readies them for possible impact. If a crash does occur, the seat belt buckle extender returns to its higher position to aid rescue of the occupants and the tension in the seat belts is relaxed.
If a rear-end collision threatens, this extension of the PRE-SAFE® system is able to initiate preventive occupant protection measures. Radar sensors in the rear bumper monitor the area behind the vehicle. If the danger of a rear-end collision is detected, PRE-SAFE® PLUS activates the hazard warning flashers at a fast, urgent rate to warn the driver following behind.
If the vehicle is at a standstill, the brake pressure can be actively increased. This only occurs if the driver indicates that he or she wishes to remain stationary, e.g. by operating the brake pedal. This brake locking function reduces the loads acting on the occupants during an impact, and then prevents the vehicle from rolling forward e.g. at a junction or pedestrian crossing. Other functions include reversible belt tensioning for the driver and front passenger to fix them in place and better prepare them for an impending crash.
In a side-on collision the sidebags help to protect the upper torso and pelvic area of driver and front passenger. They also help to stabilise the whole body. This can mitigate the risk of severe injuries in an accident.
The chest of the rear-seat passengers is protected by the sidebags in a side-on collision. They are integrated into the rear side panelling and inflate at chest height between the side of the vehicle and the occupants.
They are triggered if the crash sensors register acceleration or deceleration forces acting on the vehicle in excess of a specific threshold. The sidebags deploy at chest height between the side of the vehicle and the occupant.
In a side-on collision the windowbag covers the side windows and can help reduce the risk of the head impacting the sides of the vehicle or intruding objects. It protects the driver, front passenger and passengers on the outer rear seats.
To reduce consequential damage after an accident and support the work of the rescue services, a number of different actions are initiated, depending on the type and severity of the accident: