FUTURISTIC CONCEPT: The Mercedes-Benz F015 research car shows how driving (or not) might look in future. Image: Quickpic.
STUTTGART, Germany - Mercedes-Benz says the new C350 e provides a further example of dynamism and efficiency. The report referred to "Intelligent Drive" and says it stands for the networking of systems, sensors and algorithms for enhanced comfort and safety. The drive system also benefits from the increasing level of intelligence on board vehicles.
The autonomously driving research car F015 Luxury in Motion (right) heralds a revolution in mobility, showing how "Intelligent Drive" might look in future.
Numerous new systems and sensors make Mercedes-Benz vehicles even more comfortable, safer and more efficient as the "intelligent" operating strategy of the new plug-in hybrid controls the interaction of combustion engine and electric motor.
PARALLEL HYBRID SYSTEM
The strategy not only adapts to the battery's charge status but also anticipates the course of the road or the traffic situation. An enhanced vehicle sensing technology featuring multi-stage radar sensors and enhanced cameras is used. Intelligent innovations such as vibrating accelerator pedal help the driver to save fuel in certain driving situations.
Daimler's head of group research and sustainability, Herbert Kohler, said: "Every Mercedes-Benz already incorporates a great deal of intelligence. This makes our cars among the safest in the world. The drive system also benefits from the car's intelligent sensor technology on board. The anticipatory operating strategy spawns noticeable improvements in the efficiency of plug-in hybrids."
The plug-in hybrid system is based on the company's modular parallel hybrid system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch between the combustion engine and the electric motor. On one hand this decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation while on the other it allows the vehicle to use the combustion engine to move off, drawing on the performance of a wet start-up clutch.
Thanks to "Intelligent Drive", vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, the developers say, are already able to detect many hazardous traffic situations and react as the situation demands. 'Collision prevention assist', for example, is standard from the A to the S-Class. This radar-based assistance system warns the driver when a collision is imminent. The more advanced 'Collision prevention assist plus' system, becoming available in all models from Mercedes-Benz, can brake if the driver does not.
Beyond this, from the C-Class through to the S-Class, there are already Mercedes-Benz models being driven semi-autonomously on public roads today, equipped with features such as 'Distronic plus' with Steering Assist and the Stop&Go Pilot for semi-autonomous traffic jam following.
With its autonomously driving research vehicle F015 Luxury in Motion, Mercedes-Benz provides an idea of what form "Intelligent Drive" might take infuture. The car's role is evolving from merely a means of transport towards that of a comfortable retreat, too. Drivers can choose at any time whether they wish to drive themself, with support of intelligent systems, or whether the car is to take them to their destination in autonomous mode.
Six high-resolution displays are installed along the interior, in the facis, the back and the sides of the car. Passengers are able to interact with the F015 by eye-tracking, gesture control or touching screens. They get information about the environment, use the entertainment system, make video calls or bring virtual worlds into the car.
The F015 also incorporates high-resolution sensor technology which continuously scans the vehicle's surroundings, ensuring effective communication and interaction between the vehicle, the passengers and the world outside.
The interactive LED fields at the front and rear and the high-precision laser system informs the driver of specific traffic conditions at an early stage. For instance, the F015 is able to project a virtual crosswalk on the road to tell pedestrians the road is clear. The F015 becomes a reliable and intelligent partner in road traffic.
LUXURY: The Mercedes F015 research car is going to impress, the company says. Image: Quickpic