Assistance systems: Driving safely, reducing stress

Nov 10, 2015
Additional assistance systems, expanded with significant functions compared with the predecessor modell, enhance both the comfort and safety of the new C-Class Coupé. It comes as standard with the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which can help to prevent rear-end collisions or mitigate their severity.
A sensor system, the scope of which can be expansive depending on the customer's selected options, provides the basis for the intelligent assistance systems. The standard-specification model comes with a multi-mode radar (range up to 80 metres) in the front bumper that supports the functions of the COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. If the DISTRONIC PLUS is specified, this sensor is replaced by a long-range radar (up to 200 metres) behind the radiator grille. Depending on the equipment features, these sensors can be supplemented with a mono camera behind the windscreen for functions such as Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist or Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, as well as near-range radar sensors (30 metres) at the side in the rear bumper for Blind Spot Assist.
In the case of a fully equipped vehicle with the Driving Assistance Plus package, the coordinated sensor system provides the vehicle with a 360-degree view. This is in part courtesy of a stereo multi-purpose camera (SMPC) behind the windscreen. Two camera eyes provide it with a three-dimensional view of the area up to around 50 metres in front of the vehicle, and it is able to monitor the overall situation ahead for a range of up to 500 metres and thus determine the position and movement of objects, especially of vehicles and pedestrians. Two short-range radar sensors in the front bumper and at the sides of the rear bumper (range of up to 30 metres), a long-range radar (up to 200 metres) including mid-range scan (up to 60 metres) behind the radiator grille and a multi-mode radar (up to 80 metres) in the centre of the rear bumper are also part of the sensor system.
Combining the data from the camera and the radar sensors is crucial in order to provide useful data for a host of assistance systems – a process dubbed "sensor fusion". Intelligent algorithms analyse this data in order to detect and pinpoint the position of vehicles ahead, crossing, approaching from the rear and even from the front, as well as of pedestrians, within a large field of vision. In addition, the camera can also detect road markings and a variety of traffic signs. The aim is enhanced comfort, assistance and all-round protection not just for occupants of the own vehicle, but also for other road users.
Combating inattention and rear-end collisions
There is a host of optional safety and assistance systems based on the Mercedes‑Benz Intelligent Drive concept on board the new C-Class Coupé. ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, is included as standard.
Further standard equipment includes COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. This further advanced system can provide effective aid in mitigating the severity of rear-end collisions or even in preventing them entirely.
To this end, the radar-based system constantly monitors the area of traffic in front of the vehicle, and can determine the distance and speed of the vehicles ahead. If the following distance drops significantly below the safety threshold at speeds above 30 km/h, the system gives the driver a visual warning. If it detects a serious risk of collision at speeds above 7 km/h, the driver receives an additional audible warning. The system also computes the brake pressure required to prevent a collision, if this is still possible. If the warned driver then depresses the brake pedal firmly, the system is capable of boosting insufficient braking commensurate to the situation. In so doing it makes the best possible use of the remaining distance in order to leave vehicles following behind space for braking manoeuvres.
If the driver fails to respond, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS can go one step further and if the danger of collision persists can perform autonomous braking for slower moving and stopping vehicles at speeds of up to 200 km/h to mitigate the severity of the accident and ideally prevent the collision entirely. The system even brakes when stationary vehicles are detected up to a speed of 50 km/h, and can prevent rear-end collisions up to 40 km/h depending on the situation.
In addition, more assistance systems with expanded functions compared with the predecessor model are optionally available, which can significantly enhance comfort and safety:
  • DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot is an adaptive cruise control system that can adjust the speed of the vehicle in line with a slower-moving vehicle ahead in a speed range from 0 to 200 km/h if required. Likewise available from 0 to 200 km/h, steering interventions help the driver stay in lane. At speeds below 130 km/h, for example in tailbacks or when driving bumper to bumper, the system can follow the vehicle ahead even where there are no or unclear lane markings, thus enabling the driver to safely and comfortably follow the flow of traffic.
  • Apart from vehicles travelling ahead and stationary vehicles, BAS PLUS Brake Assist can also detect crossing traffic and boost the braking force if the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently. In addition to slower-moving, stopping and stationary vehicles, the PRE-SAFE® Brake can even detect pedestrians and brake autonomously if the driver fails to react, thus preventing accidents at speeds of up to 50 km/h and mitigating the severity of collisions at speeds of up to 70 km/h. In flowing traffic, the PRE-SAFE® Brake provides assistance in the same way throughout the entire speed range from 7 to 200 km/h.
  • Enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist can now also prevent the vehicle from unintentionally drifting out of lane by applying the brakes on one side when the lane markings are solid or broken and there is a risk of collision, e.g. as a result of vehicles overtaking at high speed, parallel traffic or even oncoming traffic.
  • PRE-SAFE® PLUS extends the Intelligent Drive functions to take account of imminent rear impacts. It warns the following traffic by activating the rear hazard warning lights at increased frequency and initiating preventive PRE-SAFE® occupant protection measures such as the reversible belt tensioner immediately prior to the impact. If the vehicle is stationary, the brakes are locked to reduce the forward jolt, which reduces the forces acting on the occupants and the risk of secondary collisions.
Two dozen assistance systems
Standard equipment features are:
  • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS with Adaptive Brake Assist and autonomous braking
  • ADAPTIVE BRAKE with Hill-Start Assist, brake priming, brake drying and HOLD function
  • STEER CONTROL steering assist function
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Torque Vectoring Brake
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • Brake Assist (BAS)
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
There is a host of optional extras available:
  • Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC
  • DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Driver Assistance Package Plus comprising of
    • DISTRONIC PLUS with Steer Assist and Stop&Go Pilot
    • BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist
    • PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection
    • Active Lane Keeping Assist
    • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • LED Intelligent Light System
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
  • Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
  • Reversing camera
  • 360° camera