At Last, A Car That Drives Itself

The new Mercedes S-Class, which is to be launched in 2012, will feature a whole array of new technological innovations, including radar-guided cruise control and a self-driving feature.

 

Many of these cutting edge technologies were featured in the Mercedes F125, which we saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The F125 was, of course, a preview of the 2025 S-Class, but fortunately you won't have to wait 14 years to get a vehicle featuring many of these innovations - the 2012 S-Class will already incorporate many of them in its design.

 

Probably the single most impressive new gadget is the self-driving feature, which enables the S-Class to actually drive itself through traffic that moves slowly up to 40km/h (25mph).

 

It utilises the same technology as radar-guided cruise control: a series of sensors and cameras on the car's exterior control the speed of the car and its distance from the vehicle immediately in front of it. According to design engineer Dr Stefan Schweher, the system 'allows the driver to concentrate on other things.'

 

Some of the other features the car will be equipped to include the latest version COMAND - an online system that uses a mobile phone to offer services such as Google Street View, local search and Facebook. It will even enable motorists to download a pre-determined route directly from Google Maps to the vehicle's satellite navigation system. Says Peter Ebel, a systems engineer, "The new S-Class will feature our latest breakthrough in audio technology; bigger, ultra-high-quality display screens; and even more premium materials."

 

Author - Louise Hutchinson

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