AS A brand, Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the introduction of more current safety technology than any other, but its head of group research and development, Ola Källenius, believes that there is a lot more to come.
The introduction of anti-lock brakes, adaptive cruise control and even four-wheel disc brakes can be attributed to Mercedes engineers, while even the smallest of its current cars – like the just-released CLA – can read terrain up to 500m ahead to help it avoid an accident.
Källenius is unequivocal about the brand’s place in the road safety spectrum. “That game never ends,” he told Australian journalists at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“Safety is part of the core DNA of Mercedes, and of course the ultimate goal is zero accidents in traffic. And things like autonomous drive and more sophisticated driver systems are all enablers to reduce traffic accidents, because virtually all traffic accidents are human error.”
He did confirm, however, that the company would soon show off a new generation of safety technology – likely as part of its journey towards the introduction of the next-generation S-Class, which is due on sale in 2021.
“We're going to show a demonstrator later this year, like a Vision car if you will, with how we envision safety taken to the next level, even though we're very high-level as it is,” Källenius confirmed.
“So watch this space. When that comes out, it's going to be an interesting thing to take a look at.”
Källenius declined to divulge details, but suggested that while some features to be shown will make it into production sooner rather than later, there are “some things that are a little bit more freakish”.
“Having been in engineering now for a couple of years, I'm absolutely amazed at the ingenuity and creativity of the engineers,” he exclaimed. “It never stops!”