With the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz hasn’t reinvented the wheel but nearly everything else

Mercedes S-Class Tech

Mercedes has a long, proud history of making all other automakers feel inadequate for at least a few years after the release of the latest S-Class. This next version will be no different. Often bewildered by the smooth ride, build quality, and accompanying price tag, few actually get to delve into what makes the S-Class ground-breaking: it’s technology.

Our friends at Autocar are reporting that the Mercedes in-house safety technology engineering wizards have come up with what they call “Intelligent Drive,” featuring 25 external sensors monitoring visible light, radar, infrared, and ultrasound. Together, these sensors monitor in a 360-degree view around the vehicle up to 500 meters.

In addition to the 25 sensors, the new S-Class includes dozens of other safety technologies. Here are just a few:

Lane-keeping assistance

Two stereo cameras mounted in the rearview mirror – in tandem with the radar sensors – monitor traffic ahead and behind the vehicle. If another vehicle gets within the predetermined unsafe distance to the S-Class, the system will gently brake. Should the driver of the S-Class wander into another lane, the system will vibrate the steering wheel.

Rib airbag

Integrated into the seatbelt, the “beltbag” is forced open with compressed gas in the event of a collision, which triples the width of the belt. The idea being that a wider belt disperses forces across the abdomen, reducing injury to internal organs.

Mercedes S-Class safety techRoad sign recognition

A windshield-mounted camera watches for road signs and cross-references what it reads with speed limit data that is embedded within the navigation system and will alert the driver of speed changes as well as road construction and “No Passing” signs.

Cross-traffic brake assistance

Should the stereo cameras and radar units detect an imminent collision with a vehicle in cross-traffic, the vehicle braking system will be activated accordingly. Mercedes claims that this system reduces collision and injuries at intersections by 27 percent.

Of the dozens of safety technologies offered on the new S-Class, the few listed above are just a small portion. When the vehicle officially launches, we’ll be sure to bring you more details at that time.

[Image credit: Autocar]