It may sound like fiction, but Mercedes is determined to haul automotive safety standards into a new era of “accident-free driving” using the power of artificial intelligence. The company’s recent technological advances in safety represent a move towards cars that can either mitigate or prevent their own collisions on behalf of drivers. A turnkey technology essential to this effort called “6D Vision” is set to debut in the next-generation Mercedes S-Class in early 2014.
The World in Six Dimensions
Mercedes-Benz; along with parent company Daimler, have a solid and enduring legacy of contributions to occupant protection. For decades, the Benz marque pioneered technologies which have become pillars of modern automotive safety, from anti-lock brakes to airbags and “crumple zones.”
Now, Stuttgart’s world-class engineers have developed a microchip-enabled platform that syncs with radar to provide real-time imaging of the car’s immediate environment. The system empowers a car to accurately ‘see’ other automobiles, drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians or any other hazard, 360 degrees in every direction.
The car’s “eyes” perceive not only three-dimensional positions, but also three dimensions of motion, including direction and speed—hence the name ’6D Vision’. This means your Mercedes-Benz instantly knows where an object is, where it is going and exactly how fast. It can then take appropriate action within a split-second—200 milliseconds, to be precise. The car could, for instance, swerve around a child that’s stepped into traffic, or avoid a parked car’s door that swings open into the lane.
In November 2011, key members of Daimler’s research team received the Karl Heinz Beckurts prize to wide acclaim for their contributions to the science of stereo processing and recognition in the making of ’6D.’ The award credits their development of wave imaging and original algorithms to rapidly analyze moving objects in the environment, making possible a substantial reduction in real-world collisions.
It’s the first time a vehicle has been so efficiently rigged to read risk factors and movements with such minimal hardware. The live data stream can be instantly converted into lifesaving steering and braking decisions. Mercedes believes this technology could prevent thousands of accidents a year, particularly in those low-visibility conditions in which even the most conscientious driver can make critical mistakes, from rainstorms and nighttime to blind curves and busy intersections.
2014 S-Class: Intelligence in Action
The all-new 2014 S-Class will be the first to showcase the fruits of 6D Vision with the “Intelligent Drive” platform, the luxury sedan’s fully-networked safety suite. Intelligent Drive’s integrated components include lane-keeping and blind-spot assist, infrared night navigation, high-beam assist, adaptive cruise control and drowsiness detection. Many of these functions depend on inputs from the car’s six-dimensional vision.
The S-Class is an appropriate setting for the debut of the latest advances. S-Class sedans are often the company’s choice for test driving new safety inventions like 6D. In fact, the world’s first driverless car was an S-Class, way back in the 1980s. It was also the first car in Europe to carry air bags.
Professor Thomas Weber, Head of Group Research, Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, reflects on the capabilities of the anticipated S-Class: “This unrivaled interplay of highly advanced safety technology broadens the ‘senses’ of the automobiles and increases their intelligence.”
“It makes them ‘thinking’ partners that can see, feel, react reflexively, and act autonomously in order to support the driver actively in critical situations.”
The Future of Safety: Autonomous Driving?
Good sense has long underscored the importance of the driver to automobile safety. Despite some reservations, the overall prognosis is looking sunny for high-tech, intelligent safety features like 6D Vision. As states like California and Florida move to regulate autonomous vehicles, excitement about making the safety standards of the future today’s reality is gaining momentum. Keep an eye out in the near term for more record-breaking intelligence and unreal safety advances from the folks at Mercedes-Benz.Comments
When car enthusiasts think of Mercedes-Benz, they often picture the iconic “wings” of the classic 300SL Gullwing rising into the air, as if preparing for takeoff. First released in 1954, this vehicle marked the beginning of the now revered Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and was considered the fastest, most advanced production vehicle of its time.
The 300SL was born from a racing heritage, and has speed engrained in its genes. It may surprise some people then, to find out that the car donned an unassuming 3.0 liter, six-cylinder engine churning out 215 horsepower. This may not sound impressive at all by today’s standards, but it was leaps and bounds ahead of comparable sports cars at the time. The car’s minimal weight (just 3,400 pounds) and sophisticated aerodynamics were in line with the SL, or “Sports Light” badge, and contributed greatly to its exceptional quickness, balance, and cornering ability. To put things in perspective, its 160 mph top speed was enough to shatter the previous record by a production vehicle and it pioneered the first-ever direct-injection system on an automotive application.
Many vehicles have recently adopted direct-injection technology because of its advantages in performance and fuel efficiency; all of these modern manufacturers owe a tip of the hat to Mercedes-Benz and the car that started it all.
Most Collectors and enthusiasts consider the 300SL to be the greatest all-around sports car of the 20th century. Today, a classic Gullwing can roll across the auction block for nearly $1 million, without breaking a sweat. Less than 1500 were built, so it comes as no surprise that these cars are highly desired and rarely go up for sale. If you’re looking to buy one, you might have better luck searching the obituaries instead of the classified section.
Road & Track magazine raved after an initial review of the 300SL, and had the following to say: “We are looking at a car where a comfortable interior is complemented by remarkably impressive handling characteristics, quite incredible roadholding, light and precise steering, and performance levels which are up there with – and even an improvement on – the best cars the automotive industry has to offer. There is only one thing left to say: the sports car of the future has become a reality.”
Moving forward, we see the future of the 300SL coming to fruition. The recently released 2013 SLS AMG® GT is the physical and spiritual predecessor to the Gullwing, and embodies all that made the original 300SL such an incredibly special car. Who says perfection can’t be improved upon? From its sultry curves and timeless styling, to its cutting-edge power plant and drive-train, the SLS AMG GT mirrors the idea behind the original 300SL and defines the parameters for what a sports car should be.
A quick glance at the SLS will leave no doubt about its lineage. Its traits are unmistakable: The impossibly long hood, the small, two seat cockpit and tiny trunk, the suave, rounded curves, the low-slung center of gravity, and of course, the often imitated Gullwing doors. All of it nods to the original 300SL. However, there is something more dark and ominous about the SLS. Its aggressive body lines and widened, ground-hugging stance indicate that it is a different beast than the 300SL. Each vehicle was shaped by the principals of its performance, and the SLS quite literally screams that it was built for more power and greater handling control. It is essentially a modern 300SL on steroids.
The angry, snarling exhaust note on the SLS is similar to the original Gullwing in its ferocity, but what lies under the long, sleek hood is another animal altogether. A high-revving 6.3-Liter AMG V8 pumps out a ground-pounding 583 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque; its broad power-band is enough to send the SLS past 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. This engine is the most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 ever stuffed into a production vehicle, and marks a momentous achievement in technological design and engineering.
As one might expect, the direct-injection technology first seen in the 300SL is carried over into the SLS. Other elements also set the car apart from its competition, including a dry-sump lubrication system, a 7-Speed dual-clutch trans-axle which shifts at a lightning-quick 100 milliseconds, a double-wishbone suspension system with electronically-controlled adaptive damping, carbon-ceramic brakes, the list goes on and on.
All of this performance does not come at the price of everyday drivability. Just as the 300SL was built to take a beating, the SLS was created as a true driver’s car, reliable enough to be driven daily, and tough enough for a weekend trip to the track and back. It was built to display extreme endurance without missing a beat.
The AMG division of Mercedes-Benz has outdone themselves with the 2013 SLS AMG GT. It represents all of the ideals that a sports-exotic should, and smashes any competition in the process. Faster cars lack its graceful styling and class, and more luxurious cars cannot match its balance of power and agility. Simply put, the SLS AMG GT is one of the most advanced, well-rounded vehicles ever built.Comments
When it comes to celebrating, Mercedes-Benz knows how to do it right. Marking 45 years of the Mercedes-Benz SL, is a project that is sure to be one of the most exclusive and impressive vehicles ever built by the iconic car company. Intended to be an incredible collectors item, there will understandably be very few produced, and they will likely be spoken for very quickly.
“With the new SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY”, Mercedes-AMG is presenting an exclusively appointed special series which is aimed at car collectors with a particular penchant for motor racing. The customer sport racing car is being built by hand in a limited edition of no more than five vehicles in Affalterbach. Record DTM champion and AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider is involved hands-on in the production process, installing the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine in the SLS AMG GT3″
Read more about the 45th Anniversary SLS AMG at eMercedesBenz.com
The moment you lay eyes on it, you know it’s something special. In a beautiful story of achieving a life long dream, the owner of this iconic car tells of his childhood, when he built a model of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, and set goal for himself to one day own the car of his dreams.
Only 1400 of these vehicles were ever produced, making it a very rare find due to sheer numbers, but when you keep in mind that this car was driven daily with pride by most of it’s happy owners, finding one in such amazing condition is an incredible feat. That didn’t stop this man, however, in his 30 year pursuit of that childhood dream.
In his own words, “It shows that anybody can do anything if you start early enough, and keep that dream alive.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Looking for your dream car? Find it here.
Car Pro Show Host Jerry Reynolds reviews the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250. The new C-Class sports aggressive performance and distinctive style. For more reviews and info on all things automotive, visit the Car Pro Show online.Comments
Park Place Motorcars Dallas Sponsors SHINE, and is the featured automotive partner of the Black Tie Dinner
Park Place Motorcars Dallas was proud to sponsor SHINE, The 2011 Black Tie Dinner which celebrated its 30 Anniversary this year. Park Place is the featured automotive partner of the Black Tie Dinner which was held Saturday, November 12, 2011.
Each year, Black Tie Dinner selects up to 20 North Texas beneficiaries to receive dinner proceeds as well as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the Dinner’s national beneficiary. To date, Black Tie Dinner has raised over $15 million. Black Tie Dinner, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
This year over $130,000 was raised from the Park Place Motorcars donation of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sport Coupe through raffle ticket sales. Lucky winner, Paul VandVyver, should have a very happy holiday season running around in the all-new C Coupe!Comments
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