The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be launched any day soon. As has become traditional, the S-Class is the ‘show pony’ for all of Mercedes-Benz’ cutting edge safety systems.
Be it airbag or the ESP electronic stability programme, each generation in the model history of the S-Class has set new safety benchmarks in their respective eras. The innovative technologies often became the new standard, not only at Mercedes-Benz but throughout the entire automotive sector.
Once again, the new S-Class, which will celebrate its world premiere in September, raises safety and ride comfort to a whole new level. It is the first car worldwide to be equipped with airbags for rear-seat passengers to protect them in the event of a frontal impact. It calls for an entirely different concept to that of front airbags. When deploying, for instance, the airbags must be able to adapt to child seats. Combined with a Belt Bag, an inflatable safety belt, the S-Class is thus setting new benchmarks in safety for rear-seat passengers.
Mercedes-Benz develops all safety functions from knowledge gained from its own accident research, which the company has been conducting for more than 50 years. The “Real Life Safety” philosophy often extends beyond legal safety requirements – producing innovations that significantly increase the safety of occupants and other road users. One example on the path to a fully integrated safety concept, in which active and passive safety systems merge, is the expansion of the PRE-SAFE Impulse Side function in the new S-Class. The feature uses radar sensors to identify an imminent side impact.
For the first time, it protects the occupants not only by using air cushions in the seats to move the driver or front-seat passenger towards the centre of the vehicle, but also by simultaneously raising the entire vehicle using the E-active body control suspension to divert the impact through stiffer structures. PRE-SAFE Impulse Side expands the capabilities of the active suspension, which raises the ride and handling of the new S-Class to an entirely new level.
By Sam Street