5 Innovations from Mercedes

5 Innovations from Mercedes

The luxury car-manufacturer has long been known as one of the most innovative in the market when it comes to pioneering technology meant to improve the overall driving experience.  And their latest offerings are nothing to sniff at.  The upcoming installments for your next Mercedes Benz purchase could include amenities that make navigation, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and rough roadways slightly more bearable.  So whether you’re looking for a vehicle that will get you through morning gridlock or simply one that will give you the smoothest trip down the highway of life, then perhaps you’ll want to check out some of the innovative solutions that are coming out of MB.

1.  Traffic Jam Assist System.  This nifty feature will have commuters everywhere rushing to their nearest Mercedes Benz dealer.  It’s the latest in a push by manufacturers to enter the realm of the future with a self-driving vehicle.  A couple of years ago, we all marveled at the car that could parallel park with no driver assistance, using cameras and sensors to navigate around parked cars and curbs alike.  These days, the specially equipped S-Class test vehicle makes driving in a traffic jam more like taking a cruise.  Sensors track the vehicle in front of you (up to 50 meters away and 25 mph) as well as the lines on the road to keep you within 20 feet of the car in front of you and in your lane at all times, with little to no assistance from you.  In fact, you can even have your hands off the wheel entirely for up to eleven seconds, although merely keeping the palm of your hand on the wheel (with no adjusting) will keep the system active.

2.  Virtual Highway.  You won’t see this technology in the new production line, but it will affect your ride.  It’s actually an in-house system for fine-tuning suspension and it works by taking data collected from sensors in real-world situations (a road disfigured by pot-holes, for example) and transmitting it to both a projector and a hydraulic platform fitted with car seats.  Technicians then make adjustments to the suspension based on what they feel throughout playback, making your ride smoother, virtually.

3.  Advanced Body Control (ABC).  This is the direct result of the Virtual Highway system.  Cameras and sensors on your vehicle assess the roadway and make instant corrections to the suspension system to compensate for bumps, dips, and so on.  With each wheel independently adjusting, ABC could provide the smoothest ride on the road.

4.  Virtual Assistant.  The days of digital voice command aren’t quite behind us, but the virtual assistant is a step in the right direction.  Although the avatar that appears on the navigation screen is not new to Mercedes users, her conversational skills have improved to include more natural speech patterns, resulting in a driver experience that is more like talking to a person than a machine.  This is thanks to speech recognition provided by an uplink to the cloud (via high-speed wireless connection), which works to mimic dialects and accents (although Mercedes claims the pinnacle of this tech is still a few years off).

5.  Camera-Touch-Pad Human-Machine Interface (or Cam-Touch-Pad HMI, which is apparently the shortest moniker they could manage).  This technology aims to improve the way we use touch pads in our automobiles by installing an easy-to-reach track pad for your fingers on the center console, which will translate your scrolling and tapping to the GPS system mounted on the dash.  The idea is to provide uninterrupted viewing of the navigation screen, without your pesky fingers covering vital information on the display as you navigate through menus and controls.

Sarah Danielson writes for Kanetix, where you can shop around and find a great deal on car insurance.

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