The Mercedes-Benz F 125! research vehicle: Active safety and assistance systems - Driver workload considerably reduced by new assistance systems

Arriving at the destination safely, rapidly and in a relaxed frame of mind: detecting traffic problems before they are seen, being aware of hazards before they become a threat. Intelligent mobility at a new level was another key focus during the development of the F 125!. This is to be achieved by electronic networking of the vehicle and the external infrastructure - so-called Car-to-X communication. It allows information to be exchanged both between vehicles, and between vehicles and traffic control centres. In this way following and oncoming vehicles can be informed about potential hazards, enabling them to take timely and appropriate action in the relevant situation.

In Car-to-X communication, anonymised information about the traffic situation is also relayed to control centres so that further developments can be reliably predicted and the road infrastructure can be optimally configured in response. This information is in turn made available to road users, so that they can vary their routes accordingly and reach their destinations conveniently and safely in the shortest time.

Special WLAN-based radio technology

To ensure safe and reliable communication even in very dense traffic, a specially developed radio technology based on the well-known WLAN standard is used. Information is transmitted directly to other vehicles, or to stations installed along the roadside. In the event that the communication partner is not in direct transmission range, other vehicles can relay the information ("Multihopping") or save it for later transmission ("Store & Forward"). In addition two-way radio technologies such as UMTS are integrated, so that gaps in WLAN coverage can be bridged (e.g. where there is no roadside infrastructure) or added value services can be offered.

Specific applications might include a warning of approaching emergency service vehicles, well before the driver can see or hear them, a reminder that other vehicles have the right of way at obscure road junctions, or rapid and precise relaying of information about obstacles or pedestrians on the road ahead.

Networked crossings, speed recommendations and optimised traffic light cycles also enable drivers to make efficient progress thanks to a series of green lights. The touring saloon of the future will therefore relieve the driver's workload in many standard situations, defuse potential sources of danger and make for even more relaxed travel.

Advanced Driving Assist for semi-autonomous driving

When it comes to comfort the F 125! goes a whole stage further by autonomously performing certain frequent driving manoeuvres if the driver so wishes. On multi-lane, one-way roads, for example, Advanced Driving Assist allows autonomous cruising in the same lane (with or without vehicles immediately ahead) and safe, automatic lane-changing, and in a further development stage even overtaking manoeuvres.

In the process the F 125! controls both the linear and lateral vehicle movements, while its sensors "keep an eye on" other road users at all times. The driver merely needs to give the relevant command, leave his hands loosely on the steering wheel, lean back and relax. Naturally he is able to take back full control of the car at any time.

Source: Daimler AG

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