2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Tech at the highest level

By Bob Nagy on July 9, 2015 10:08 AM

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class arriving next year will offer a new array of advanced Intelligent Drive and Intelligent Protect safety technologies that will help prevent or mitigate accidents, boost overall comfort and reduce behind-the-wheel stress levels. Building on systems introduced on the S-Class, Thomas Weber, Daimler AG board member for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, points out that with five on-board cameras and radar units as well as a dozen ultrasonic sensors, the next-gen E-Class sets benchmarks for car-to-car communication and vehicular autonomy while bolstering the automaker's reputation as a safety pioneer.

"The most intelligent sedan in its class" 

The new technology on the 2017 E-Class is focused on a new Driver Assistance Package. A key element is Intelligent Drive next Level, a system that moves towards autonomous capability. Using on-board cameras, road markings and GPS data from the nav system, it allows the E-Class to pace a vehicle ahead at speeds from 0-124 mph and follow it in lane. Also on tap is a more perceptive Active Brake Assist as well as new Evasive Steering Assist that adds its own calculated force to help support the driver's input on the wheel when attempting to avoid a collision. Digital Car Key will employ Near Field Communications technology to permit the owner's smartphone to act as the vehicle key while Remote Parking Pilot -- one feature not initially coming the America -- will allow the E-Class to maneuver into tight confines by remote control using a smartphone app. Finally, the E-Class will offer the first fully integrated, series-production Car-to-X Communications setup. Using information gathered from other nearby mobile phones, it will provide driver's with earlier warnings of potential hazards ahead.

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To complement the Driver Assistance Package, the new E-Class will offer several other ancillary tech advances that start with an expansion of its existing Pre-Safe package. Pre-Safe Impulse Side responds to an imminent side impact by rapidly inflating the side bolsters in the backrest of the seat to move the occupant further away from the door. Pre-Safe Sound protects passengers from hearing damage from high-volume noise that may occur in a crash. It emits a signal that triggers the stapedius reflex in the human ear which can lessen the risk of injury from sonic overload. 

More capable LED headlamps 

The next E-Class will also feature inflatable "beltbag" shoulder belts for the rear outboard seats that were introduced on the 2014 S-Class and new LED headlamps and taillamps. This latest iteration of M-B's Multibeam Adaptive Headlights use 84 individual LEDs -- nearly four times as many as those found on the CLS -- and provide greater illumination and resolution as well as the first-ever full digital control of all modes, including the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus. In keeping with M-B's current design philosophy, the restyled LED taillamps in the new E-Class will continue to feature multi-level functionality. Beyond automatically changing intensity to match driving or ambient light conditions, the brightness of the brake lights will decrease when the car is fully stopped to prevent dazzle for any driver behind.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2015

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class debuts this September at the Frankfurt Auto Show and will appear in U.S.-spec next January at the Detroit Show.

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