With the new Traffic Jam Assistant feature in the F 800 Style, Mercedes-Benz has become the world’s first automaker to implement a system that is capable of automatically following the vehicle in front of it into curves.
At speeds of up to about 40 km/h, the system takes care of both longitudinal and transverse movements so that drivers do not have to steer themselves. The driver can just sit back and relax — with hands on the steering wheel. Drivers can, of course, override the system at any time. Sensitive sensors notice if the driver moves the steering wheel, thus automatically deactivating the system’s lateral control function. When the 40 km/h mark is exceeded, the steering torque that keeps the vehicle in its lane is gradually reduced to a point at which the system smoothly disengages.
For the Traffic Jam Assistant feature, the Mercedes engineers supplemented the tried and tested DISTRONIC PLUS with proximity radar sensor by adding the “eyes” of a stereo camera. The camera and the electronic system monitor and analyze the area in front of the vehicle out to a distance of about 50 meters.
The camera recognizes lane markings as well as the vehicle in front, which is also measured in terms of its position and width. As long as the vehicle in front is moving within its lane, the F 800 Style follows the vehicle by means of the measurement data from the camera. But should the driver in front move out of the lane or initiate a turn to the right or left, the assistance system limits the lateral control function to keep the F 800 Style in its own lane.
In heavy traffic the Traffic Jam Assistant significantly boosts the driver’s comfort by reducing the stress of driving. The system thus contributes to the further improvement of active safety because the driver can remain alert longer and retain the ability to react quickly.
Source: Mercedes Benz.