New safety systems for Mercedes-Benz

* Active Blind Spot Assist * and Active Lane Keeping Assist * Available this autumn...

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What Car? Staff
26 July 2010

New safety systems that actively prevent cars from straying into the paths of other vehicles will become available on top-end Mercedes-Benz models this autumn.

They are called Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, and will initially be available on revised S-Class and CL models plus the E-Class family. They will come as a package for 2020.

Both are extensions of systems already available on a number of Mercedes cars.

At the moment there is a blind spot monitor, which flashes a red triangle in the door mirror if a driver is about to stray into the path of an overtaking car, and a lane-change warning that vibrates the steering wheel if the driver changes course without first putting on the indicators.

Active Blind Spot Assist: Click here to enlargeSystems can operate brakes
The big difference is that the new active systems apply the brakes on one side of the car to bring it back onto a straight course if there is a risk of a collision. The driver will still be given warnings as at present.

Active Blind Spot Assist
The active blind spot feature operates at speeds of between 20- and 125mph, although the flashing triangle will be given right up the cars maximum speed of 155mph.

Active Lane Change Assist
The active lane-change system works between 35- and 125mph, as long as there is a solid white line on one side of the car and a dotted line on the other. It cuts in if there is a gradual drift off-course so that it will not, for instance, prevent the driver from suddenly swerving to avoid a cyclist or pedestrian.

Active Lane Keeping Assist: Click here to enlargeBoth new active features are linked to the anti-lock braking system and rely on information supplied either by short-range sensors in the sides of the car or a camera inside the windscreen.