The production of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has started in Sindelfingen, the sedan featuring the most advanced automated driving features of the range on-board and being built along the most modern assembly line. The S-Class now elevates the “Intelligent Drive” system to a new level, marking a major step on the road to autonomous driving.
The S-Class is now raising the bar, taking production for the automotive industry worldwide into a new dimension. The first S 560 4MATIC model has just rolled off the assembly line, driving independently off the final assembly line, with no driver at the wheel. This was followed by the car rolling for 1.5 kilometers approximately to the loading area of the plant. Newly developed and patented technology based on cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors, is used to ensure that the car reaches its destination.
“Perhaps, in the not too distant future, a Mercedes-Benz will even find its own way from the production line to its new owner,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.
The plant in Sindelfingen is currently piloting the possible use of the system for series production. The vehicles that are ready for the showrooms are currently driven from the assembly halls to the loading car parks by members of the factory staff. They employees return by a shuttle service.
Industry 4.0 processes enhance the ergonomics for the workforce and the flexibility of the work place. Thanks to ultimate technology, the Sindelfingen plant has become the “paperless factory”, as hardware solutions replace paper documentation. Screens, tablets, PCs and PDAs provide staff with the relevant information of each vehicle.
The FLOW (Flexible Logistics Optimized Warehouse) system automatically provides the supply of materials to the production line when needed. Laser scanners prevent potential collisions. Over 500 different items need to be delivered punctually to the assembly line, for specific models, whether they are saloons with long or short wheelbases, a Maybach, a Coupe or a Cabriolet.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class celebrated its world premiere in April at the Shanghai Motor Show and will hit showrooms in Europe this July.