The next-generation 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is set to bring new safety technologies to the automotive world, just as its predecessors have done in the past.

With the implementation of Pre-Safe in the S-Class more than a decade ago, Mercedes-Benz introduced a collision avoidance technology that has since filtered down to the entire range. Next year the S-Class will take the technology to an entirely new level, with the next-generation model capable of 360-degree vision thanks to a complex series of 26 sensors and cameras which Mercedes calls “sensor fusion”.

“The intelligent assistance systems of the future will be able to analyse complex situations and recognise potential dangers out on the road with the aid of improved sensor systems even more accurately than today,” says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler board of management responsible for group research and head of Mercedes-Benz cars development.

There are nine safety features which have been significantly improved for the W222-series Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Distronic Plus with Steering Assist: The S-Class is getting closer and closer to complete autonomous driving, however Mercedes-Benz’s philosophy remains that the driver must always be in control. Nonetheless, with the new steering assist system in Distronic Plus, the S-Class can not only follow the car in front at the same speed, it can now keep in its own lane in the highway and adjust the steering input to remain in the middle of the lane. The system works from 0-200km/h. There are limitations to this, of course. It cannot turn sharply, however we tested the system in a simulator and it worked flawlessly on open roads.

Brake Assist System with Cross-Traffic Assist: With brake assist already helping many Mercedes-Benz vehicles limit the severity of an accident or avoid one altogether, the new S-Class will take this system one step further. The cross-traffic assist component can now see cars and pedestrians crossing the street from either side, which is ideal for when another vehicle runs a stop sign or red light. The S-Class will now warn the driver, tighten up the seat belts and provide braking assistance to avoid or reduce the severity of the accident.

Pre-Safe Brake: Now capable of pedestrian detection and capable of autonomous braking to avoid an accident when speeds are less than 50km/h.

Pre-Safe Plus: This system looks behind the car in the event of an imminent rear-ending. It flashes the rear hazard lights at a higher speed than normal to alert the incoming driver and, if an accident is imminent, applies full brake force to stop the S-Class from moving forward, while also activating all Pre-Safe occupant protection systems to minimise injury.

Pre-Safe Impulse: In an interesting way to avoid serious injury, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class can now pull the driver and front passenger away from the direction of travel well before the accident has caused vehicle deceleration. It’s a simple approach that may significantly reduce the severity of injuries in a frontal accident.

Active Lane Keeping Assist: As before, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are capable detecting unwanted lane departure and both warn the driver and apply brakes via the stability control system to bring the car back in the intended direction. The new system takes this further by using actual steering force and is also able to detect incoming cars in the adjacent lane.

Adaptive High-beam Assist Plus: Many high-end vehicles on the road now have high-beam assist – a system that turns off the high-beams when an incoming car is detected. With High-beam Assist Plus, Mercedes-Benz’s light engineers have found a way to keep the high-beams on but mask out the incoming vehicles so they are not blinded by the light. In a demonstration to showcase this technology, we were amazed as to how the headlights simply carved out the light accordingly, so the entire road would light up except the section where the oncoming car was approaching to avoid dazzling the driver.

Night-view Assist Plus: Yet another feature that has been made possible by the S-Class’s amazing headlight technology, the night-view system can not only detect animals and pedestrians using its infrared systems, it can now clearly show the driver the location of the object in the dash and then using its headlight, actually spotlight the object on the road four times to warn the object of the car and to mark its location on the road.

Attention Assist: A further enhancement of the Mercedes-Benz drowsiness detection system, now with dual mode so you can tell the S-Class that you’re feeling unwell before getting in so that it can keep a closer eye on your attentiveness.


Other features of note include the seat belt airbag for the rear passengers, which helps reduce pressure on the ribs in an accident.

Perhaps the most fascinating new feature to be introduced in the S-Class is the lighting technology both inside and out. The S-Class becomes the only car in the world not to feature a single light bulb. The company has chosen to go full LED with the new S-Class, noting the technology’s longevity and closer resemblance to daylight. Each dynamic S-Class headlight now contains 55 LED lamps and three motors to provide everything from infrared detection to spotlight feature.

Overall, the array of new technologies in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is second to none, and showcases why the S-Class remains the leader for introducing new in-car and safety technologies to the automotive world.

Check out the gallery for more photos.

  • F1orce

    While LEDs are great.. Their range is no where near HID XENONS and they’re also no where near as bright.

    Besides, Xenon HID lights also are closer to the ‘daylight spectrum’ than LEDs are..

    • Realist

      F1orce, mate check your facts as the the all LED headlights of the CLS are many times brighter than HID or Bi-Xenons and have been on the market for a couple years now.

      Impressive tech Mercedes-Benz, can’t wait to see it filter on down through the range!

      • F1orce

        If by bright you mean they hurt your eyes more when you look directly at them, than yes I agree.

        But their actual illumination frequency and range is quite a joke.

        They’re good for spotlights and brake lights etc.

        But for headlight purpose they’re a joke.

  • TG

    CA writes: “The company has chosen to go full LED with the new S-Class, noting the technology’s longevity and closer resemblance to daylight”

    Good to see MB are taking on LED for everything throughout the car.

    Unlike Toyota – at one stage they started using LEDs for things like brake lights a few years back, but the cost-cutting geniuses have gone back to incandescent globes. Possibly one of the biggest facepalms ever in the automotive world.

    • F1orce

      Hmm tell me the difference between the average selling price of a Mercedes-Benz compared with that of Toyota.

      I cannot believe the number of people who absolutely don’t think before opening their traps..

      • TG

        Mate I couldn’t give 2 flaps about price difference.

  • Zaccy16

    Amazing tech, specially the high beam assist! 

  • Wile E Coyote

    How many other high end manufacturers are taking the lead in safety?

  • yuck

    the nanny states and greenies are now trying to stop us from actually driving?, why cant cars be cars anymore. The Greens just want to kill the whole idea of driving and make it so we cant drive anymore.

    • Phil

      Where are The Greens/greenies in this article?

      • F1orce

        It’s passively written throughout the article..

        • Adfgsfds

           Why would Greens/Greenies be engineering safety technology in a huge gas guzzling and very UNgreen car?

    • Zaccy16

      Yeah your right, who in their right frame of mind actually vote for the greens at a federal election?

  • Dave W

    Oh God… “Active Lane Keeping Assist”…

    I accept the fact that there will be people who stray into the next lane due to inattention, distraction, or simply lack of skill. What I can’t accept is the fact that there may be so many of them that Lane Assist systems are becoming standard.

  • Turbodewd

    Under the ANCAP system these systems would still only render a 5 star rating.  ANCAP is a joke!

  • My Thoughts

    Euro NCAP (which ANCAP follows) requires collision avoidance meeting their new crash-miss tests for the fifth star from 2014.