Electric drive systems and automated driving are key technologies for the mobility of the future. This leads to changes in the requirements for in-car safety technology: firstly, much more flexible seating positions in the interior of such vehicles require a different form of occupant protection. And secondly, empathy and trust are central factors for the acceptance of self-driving vehicles.
“Safety is part of the brand DNA of Mercedes-Benz. We have repeatedly demonstrated that we are not short of ideas in this field since the 1970s, with our Experimental Safety Vehicles.
An overview of the key topics covered by the ESF 2019:
– All-round driver safety: When the ESF 2019 is driving in automated mode, the steering wheel and pedal cluster are retracted to reduce the risk of injury during a crash.
– Cooperative communication with the environment: For people to gain trust in the automated vehicle, they must immediately and intuitively be able to recognise what it intends to do. In this respect the ESF 2019 takes human road users very much into consideration.
– Child safety: With the child seat concept PRE-SAFE® Child, the seat belt is preventively tensioned and side-mounted impact protection elements are extended before a crash. Thanks to the tensioned belt, the child is more firmly and accurately fixed in the seat while belt slack is reduced. This considerably reduces the loads acting on the child. Monitoring of seat installation and the child’s vital signs are other functions integrated into the seat.
– Securing traffic hazards: The ESF 2019 shows how the scenes of accidents or breakdowns could be secured more safely with innovations such as a small robot that automatically emerges from the vehicle’s rear following an incident, and positions itself at the roadside as a warning triangle. Other ideas are a warning triangle that folds out of the vehicle roof at the same time, and the rear window as a communication surface.
– New PRE-SAFE® functions: PRE-SAFE® Curve (which uses the belt tensioner to warn the driver that he/she has possibly underestimated an approaching bend) and PRE-SAFE® side lights with electro-luminescent paint can defuse potentially hazardous situations. PRE-SAFE® Impulse Rear is able to extend the protection of passengers and others involved in an accident at the end of a traffic tailback.
– Safety and comfort in the rear: An innovative rear airbag uses a special new inflation concept to deploy and position the airbag. It has a special tubular structure for this purpose. With belt-feeders, belt buckle illumination, USB belt buckles and belt heating, the ESF 2019 implements a number of ideas by which passengers on the rear seats might be motivated to wear seat belts using new methods.