Stuttgart, Germany – The updated Mercedes-Benz E Class was scheduled for reveal at the now canceled Geneva Auto Show, but the German luxury automaker unveiled its cornerstone family of vehicles through online avenues.
The E-Class Sedans and Wagons have undergone a comprehensive update in design, dynamics, safety and driver assistance technology (ADAS), which will be the focus of this report (the entire announcement can be viewed by clicking HERE.)
The E-Class, with more than 14 million E-Class cars delivered since 1946, is the best-selling model series in the history of Mercedes-Benz. It is perceived by many as the “heart of the brand.”
The 10th generation of the E-Class set styling trends in 2016 with its clean yet emotionally appealing design and an exclusive, high-quality interior. The wealth of innovations such as in the area of ADAS also was characteristic.
This emotionally appealing and at the same time intelligent combination is extremely successful: to date, more than 1.2 million customers around the world have bought a current-generation E-Class Sedan or E-Class Wagon.
Next-generation driving assistance systems, including:
- New steering wheel generation with capacitive hands-off detection
- Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adjustment
- Active Stop-and-Go Assist
- Active Steering Assist
- Active Brake Assist; in the Driving Assistance Package now also with turning manoeuvre function
- Active Blind Spot Assist – now also with exit warning
- Parking Package in conjunction with 360° camera: newly expanded side view and for the first time automatic parking not only in parallel and end-on parking spaces, but also on marked areas.
Next-generation Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems: better assistance in tailbacks and when parking
The new E-Class has the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems providing cooperative support to drivers. This results in an especially high level of active safety: Sedan and Wagon are able to react if the driver does not. The hands-off recognition now works on a capacitive basis.
As standard, the E-Class comes with Active Brake Assist, which in many situations is able to use autonomous braking to prevent a collision or mitigate its severity. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds and even to prevent collisions, depending on the situation. As part of the Driving Assistance Package, this is now also possible when turning off across the oncoming lane.
Some Intelligent Drive functions can optionally be added to the Driving Assistance Package. They include Active Speed Limit Assist, which uses map data and information from Traffic Sign Assist to respond to changes in the speed limit. Route-based speed adjustment ahead of bends, roundabouts, toll stations, T-junctions as well prior to turning off/exiting motorways/expressways is also included in the scope of delivery.
When the driver switches on Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adjustment, the E-Class is now even able to respond to data from LiveTraffic Information. Ideally, this happens even before the driver or the radar and camera sensors are able to detect a traffic obstruction. When a tailback is detected, the speed is reduced to approximately 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) as a precaution unless the driver deliberately decides otherwise.
When driving in a tailback on the motorway, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is largely able to perform the tasks of keeping in lane and maintaining the safety distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 60 km/h (37 mph). The vehicle can restart automatically up to one minute after coming to a stop.
On multi-lane roads, Active Steering Assist is able to support the driver with the emergency corridor function, which causes the vehicle to stay off-centre in the lane. On motorways, at speeds under 60 km/h, the vehicle refers to detected lane markings and applies swarm intelligence to take its bearings from vehicles in the surrounding area. If none are detected, the E-Class takes its bearings from the vehicle ahead as before.
Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning offers enhanced protection when getting out of the car. It is able to respond to vehicles in the blind spot as well as in the critical area with an active brake intervention. When the vehicle is stopped, the system can now also warn the passengers visually in the exterior mirror before they get out if a vehicle, even a bicycle, is driving past in the critical area. If the driver tries to use the door handle at this moment, an additional audible warning will sound and the ambient door lighting will start to flash red. It detects passing road users moving at a speed of more than 7 km/h (4.5 mph). The function is also available when the vehicle is stationary and up to three minutes after the ignition has been switched off.
Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC and 360° camera makes it possible to enter and leave parking spaces automatically. The system facilitates the search for and selection of a parking space as well as entering and leaving (if the vehicle was parked automatically) parallel and end-on parking spaces or garages. For the first time, the new E-Class is able to recognise and use parking spaces which are only marked as areas on larger sites, for example. The 360° camera transmits an even more realistic image to the media display, which includes an expanded side view. When leaving a parking space, the system is able to warn of traffic crossing behind the vehicle and can apply the brakes in case of doubt.