Perspectives: Real life safety, advanced driver assistance systems and the
ESF Experimental Safety Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz showcases driver assistance systems simulator at the 2010 Canadian Internation Auto Show

TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Real life safety, that's what it's all about. The Mercedes-Benz philosophy for safety is much more comprehensive than simply focusing on crash tests alone. It takes the findings from accident research into account and integrates active and passive safety systems based on more then 70 years of development to achieve even greater levels of safety on the road.

At the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz demonstrates how advanced technology can assist drivers not only in avoiding accidents, but also in reducing the impact if a collision is unavoidable. Visitors to the Mercedes-Benz booth at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre have the unique opportunity to experience firsthand how advanced driver assistance systems work with the complex driving simulator. All systems shown are available in E- and S-Class vehicles today. They include: Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, adaptive cruise-control DISTRONIC PLUS, Brake Assist PLUS, PRE-SAFE(R) Brake, Adaptive High Beam Assist, and ATTENTION ASSIST.

A look into the future: The Mercedes-Benz ESF research vehicle

In 2009, Mercedes-Benz celebrated several anniversaries in the field of safety: in August 1939, the safety pioneer Béla Barényi started his work at Daimler's Sindelfingen plant in Germany. He invented, for example, the principle of the crumple zone; a trailblazing innovation which entered series production at Mercedes-Benz in 1959. With the help of its in-house accident research experts, Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed several groundbreaking innovations in passenger car safety. The Mercedes-Benz Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESF) is a research vehicle based on the new Mercedes-Benz S400 HYBRID, and it reveals what safety specialists are currently working on with a time horizon that extends well into the future.

The ESF is the first Experimental Safety Vehicle to be built by Mercedes-Benz since 1974. Like its historic predecessors, it illustrates trailblazing innovations in the field of safety, and makes the progress already achieved clearly visible. These amazing ideas include inflatable metallic sections which give more stability to structural components within fractions of a second, as well as a so-called "Braking Bag." This air bag housed within the vehicle floor is deployed when a crash is unavoidable, and it uses a friction coating to support the vehicle against the road surface.

"Safety is a central element of the Mercedes-Benz brand. In this respect we have been setting the pace in the market for almost 70 years. For the benefit of our customers and for road users in general, the ESF shows that we still have plenty of ideas and the absolute resolve to lead the automobile industry in this field in future as well," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The ESF was developed and built in Daimler's test vehicle workshops in Sindelfingen, Germany. This safety research vehicle is based on the Mercedes-Benz S400 HYBRID and features more than a dozen safety innovations, most of which are fully functioning in demonstration mode. "With the ESF, we have chosen this particular time to clearly demonstrate the innovative strength of Daimler. Anybody examining the ESF in detail will recognize that more safety and improved energy efficiency are not necessarily a contradiction. We want to make progress in both fields with new, trailblazing ideas," says Dr. Thomas Weber, the member of the Daimler Executive Board responsible for corporate Research and Development at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The following five innovations are among the many highlights of the ESF:

    -   PRE-SAFE(R) Structure: The inflatable metal structures save weight or
        increase the resistance of structural components. When at rest, the
        metal section is in a folded state to save space. If its protective
        effect is required, a gas generator builds up an internal pressure of
        10 to 20 bar within fractions of a second, causing the section to
        unfold for significantly more stability.
    -   Braking Bag: This auxiliary brake accommodated in the vehicle floor
        is a new type of PRE-SAFE(R) component. If the sensor system
        concludes that an impact is unavoidable, the Braking Bag is deployed
        shortly before the crash and supports the car against the road
        surface. The vehicle's vertical acceleration increases the friction,
        and helps to decelerate the vehicle before an impact occurs.
    -   Interactive Vehicle Communication: The ESF is able to communicate
        directly with other vehicles, or via relay stations. Using "ad hoc"
        networks and WLAN radio technology, it is able to receive and
        transmit warnings of bad weather or obstacles in the road.
    -   PRE-SAFE(R) Pulse: This further development of PRE-SAFE(R) is able to
        reduce the forces acting on the torsos of the occupants during a
        lateral collision by around one third. It does this by moving them
        towards the centre of the vehicle by up to 50 millimetres as a
        precautionary measure. As an active restraint system, it uses the air
        chambers in the side bolsters of the seat backrests.
    -   Spotlight function: This partial LED main beam specifically
        illuminates potential hazards. If the infrared camera of Night View
        Assist PL US detects wildlife or pedestrians, they can be briefly
        illuminated beyond the normal area covered by the main beams, as if
        by a spotlight.

Mercedes-Benz is continuing a longstanding tradition with the ESF. For the ESV Safety Conferences held in 1971 to 1974, the safety experts in Stuttgart, Germany built more than 30 experimental vehicles and subjected them to crash tests to satisfy the visionary safety requirements of that time. Four of these ESFs were presented to the public, and many of the revolutionary ideas such as ABS and the airbag first entered series production at Mercedes-Benz.

About Mercedes-Benz Canada

Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the four brands within the Mercedes-Benz Group in Canada: Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMG, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,250 people in 19 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 14 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 26,942 vehicles in 2009, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.

SOURCE Mercedes-Benz Canada

For further information: For further information: JoAnne Caza, (416) 847-7550,; Michael Minielly, (416) 847-7509,; Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available on the internet at:

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