The upcoming, Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift is reported to receive the most advanced autonomous tech yet. According to Autocar, it can navigate 90 degree bends and roundabouts without human input. And it’s coming in June.
“The first intelligent integration of sensor and map data will enable the new S-Class to do things like detect a corner and judge whether the car’s speed is too high. If it is, it will “decelerate, negotiate the bend safely and then resume its original speed. And while the existing system will steer itself along 80% of Germany’s autobahns and a small number of highways, the new system will be effective on almost all autobahns and 80% of highways”, Mercedes’ research and development boss Ola Kallenius has revealed.
“If you use the indicators approaching a 90-degree turn, it will drop your speed until you can make the turn.” Kallenius said the technology must foresee all potential outcomes; “You don’t want to be going around a blind bend, discovering the white lines have disappeared and being a metre out at the exit…”.
If the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel for longer than is allowed and all warnings fail, it will “bring the car to a safe stop, switch on the hazard lights, unlock the doors and call the emergency services”.
Design changes are minimal with a new grille and bumper, plus the latest generation of multi-beam LED headlights with permanent high-beam. Inside, the biggest news is the wider, frameless dual-screen set-up. Without the previous thick frame, the screen area will become larger, while the Comand infotainment system will be updated to the latest 5.5 version and dispense with the previous rotary knob in favor of a touch-sensitive pad and gesture control. The new S-Class will also feature a brand new three spoke steering wheel.
The engine range of the Mercedes S-Class will be heavily revised too. The new luxury liner gets the new straight-six diesel and gasoline engines with twin turbochargers and up to 340 hp and 700 Nm maximum torque. The other units receive more power and will emit less CO2 emissions. The nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission will be standard across the range.