Electronic helpers: the new assistance systems in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Adaptive Highbeam Assist. When vehicles are detected ahead of or approaching the vehicle, this system automatically dips the beams and adjusts the range of the headlamps appropriate to the distance. This means that main beam can be used more frequently.

Active Lane Keeping Assist. The system kicks into action if the Mercedes-Benz vehicle inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In such a case, a warning sign in the instrument cluster and vibration of the steering wheel give the driver warning. If the driver does not heed the warning in the case of the solid line, Active Lane Keeping Assist can use the ESP to brake the opposite wheels and thereby prevent the vehicle from crossing the solid line. The Lane Keeping Assist, which warns but does not actively intervene, is available as a favourably-priced alternative.

Active Blind Spot Assist. It warns the driver when changing lanes if a risk of collision is detected due to another vehicle in the neighbouring lane being in the blind spot of the exterior mirror. If the driver ignores the warning and nevertheless initiates the lane-changing manoeuvre, the Active Blind Spot Assist intervenes. By applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle, a yaw movement is created which counteracts the collision course. The Active Blind Spot Assist was recently awarded the "Yellow Angel" prize for being a pioneering innovation by a jury of experts from the ADAC, the German automobile association and the biggest of its kind in the world. The favourably-priced alternative is the Blind Spot Assist; it warns the driver but does not actively intervene.

ATTENTION ASSISTwarns drivers when it detects that they are over-tired. Studies have shown that around a quarter of all serious motorway accidents are caused by drowsy drivers, making this factor an even bigger cause of accidents than drink-driving. With ATTENTION ASSIST (standard for Elegance and Avantgarde), Mercedes-Benz is therefore making another important contribution towards helping to avoid accidents: it employs high-resolution sensors to observe driver behaviour and can recognise whether the driver is tired or not paying attention, based primarily on steering wheel movements.

BRAKE ASSIST PLUS: this system is able to recognise an impending rear-end collision using radar sensors. It calculates the necessary degree of braking assistance and makes it available immediately when the driver presses the brake pedal.

DISTRONIC PLUS: the radar-based proximity control supports the driver at speeds between zero and 200 km/h by automatically adjusting the distance to the vehicles in front. In doing so it is able to apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a complete standstill and also accelerate it again. As a result, the system is also particularly convenient in stop-and-go traffic. If the system detects that the distance is being reduced too quickly, it warns the driver with both visual and acoustic signals. The control system has also been refined even further through the inclusion of information from digital maps.

Speed Limit Assist: a camera fitted behind the windscreen detects speed limit signs at the roadside and compares this data to information contained in the GPS system. The relevant speed limit is then displayed in the instrument cluster.

PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance:ultrasonic sensors measure the length of parking spaces as the car drives past; the cockpit display provides a schematic representation of the recommended parking manoeuvre. Ultrasonic sensors then support the driver whilst parking.

PRE-SAFE Brake:autonomous braking if acute danger of an accident is detected. At first the driver is given both an acoustic and an optical warning if the system identifies that there is a danger of collision. If the driver does not react to this, the system brakes the vehicle autonomously. This occurs in two stages: around 1.6 seconds before the calculated impact point the system decelerates the car with around 40 percent (approx. four m/s²) of the maximum braking power, gives the driver an additional, haptic warning of the impending impact and as a precaution activates the reversible PRE-SAFE occupant protection systems. If the driver still fails to react, the PRE-SAFE Brake activates the maximum braking power around 0.6 seconds before the now unavoidable collision - this emergency braking can greatly reduce the severity of the impact. The system therefore acts like an "electronic crumple zone", offering the car occupants even greater protection. The PRE-SAFE Brake is active at speeds of between 30 and 200 km/h when moving vehicles are detected in front of the car. The system also reacts if the car approaches a stationary queue of traffic, providing its speed is below 70 km/h.

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