In August 1888, Bertha Benz set off on her famous first long-distance automobile journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim. In doing so, the wife of Carl Benz demonstrated the suitability of the Benz patent motor car for everyday use and thus paved the way for the worldwide success of the automobile. Precisely 125 years later, in August 2013, Mercedes-Benz recorded a no less spectacular pioneering achievement following the same route. Developed on the basis of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE research vehicle autonomously covered the approximately 100 kilometres between Mannheim and Pforzheim. Yet, unlike Bertha Benz all those years ago, it did not have the road “all to itself”, but had to negotiate dense traffic and complex traffic situations.
Autonomous long-distance drive.
Mercedes-Benz became the first motor manufacturer to demonstrate the feasibility of autonomous driving on both interurban and urban routes
Partially automated driving is already available to drivers of new Mercedes-Benz E and S-Classmodels: the new DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot is capable of steering the vehicle mainly autonomously through traffic jams. This system thus forms the core of “Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive”, the intelligent networking of all safety and comfort systems.
DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot takes the burden off the driver when it comes to staying in lane and the system is now also able to partially autonomously follow vehicles in traffic jams. Thanks to the stereo camera, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist is, for the first time, now able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians, as well as boost the braking force applied by the driver. If the lane markings are broken lines, Active Lane Keeping Assist can detect when the adjacent lane is occupied, especially by oncoming traffic, and reduce the risk of the vehicle leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side. Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows the main-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently without dazzling other road users.