The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is known to be the “most technologically advanced model, debuting most of the company’s groundbreaking technologies over the years”, to quote an article from CARSCOOP. The S 500 Intelligent Drive model is now the closest to a self driving car prototype. Here is a video explaining more about it.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class marked the first 100 kilometers of autonomous driving
The Mercedes-Benz model was put to test for the first time back in August 2013. The car had to face a series of challenges, since we all know what today’s traffic looks like. As they noted on their website, this self driving car had to deal with “traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrians, cyclists and trams”.
The route chosen for the vehicle was from Mannheim to Pforzheim. This route was the same one Bertha, the wife of Carl Benz used to drive the first long-distance automobile, in order to prove the use of the Benz patent motor.
What are the features of the Mercedes’s self driving car?
[ Photo credits: Reece Garside | Photography’s Flickr ]
So what is different at this model, from the other S-Class models?
Sensor technologies were already used for Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The car was equipped with production-based sensors, which were able to send details about location, environment, and “how to react autonomously”. Also, the “Route Pilot” was used to help the car automate its way through the urban and rural traffic.
A stereo camera that is placed behind the windshield, radar sensors, and a Steering Assistant work together so that the car maintains the optimum distance to the vehicle that’s in front of it. It automatically applies the break, or it accelerates, depending on the situation. The Steering Assistant alone is a great feature, as it ensures that the car remains on the middle of the road.
Though the California DMV allowed self driving car testing on the roads, legislation doesn’t allow autonomously driving cars on the road just yet. So Mercedes had to add a sensor, which will detect the fact that the driver keeps one hand at least on the steering wheel. If this condition is not met, than the Steering Assistant will deactivate itself.
A driver actually discovered that the steering wheel is based on weight, so he made a video in which he showed how he used a soda can to make the car drive itself. As cool as it may look, please don’t try this at home.
Safety and comfort – what all drivers want in a car
Mercedes-Benz believes that autonomous vehicles will be able to prevent accidents, since the “driver-less” car reacts even when the driver is not paying attention to his surroundings. Along with road safety, it will also bring comfort to drivers. Subscribe to the feed, to keep up with the latest scoops on self driving cars from other brands as well.
Mercedes has made important steps with its successful test drive. The company gained plenty of insight regarding the direction they need to take, so that autonomous driving will be possible in other locations, too. The S-Class model is the first self driving car to be “driven” during traffic jams. This shows how much closer is Mercedes to becoming the first company that will produce autonomously driving cars.
What do you think about Mercedes’s progress? They say that in about a decade they will release the self driving car. If you got the chance, would you buy one?