10 tech features Mercedes-Benz has introduced over the last 12 months
It’s nearly the end of the year, which means that it’s time for top 10 lists looking back at the year’s accomplishments. This one comes from Mercedes-Benz, who wants to point out the 10 tech features they introduced over the last 12 months, with cool stuff ranging from a suspension that hops to stopping the car from outsmarting itself in the wash. So from the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska, here are what Mercedes-Benz calls its top tech introductions from 2019
MBUX with Interior Assistant
This one adds gesture controls to the natural speech abilities of the MBUX system that was introduced last year. Merc put a camera in the overhead console that watches your (and your passenger’s) hands. Reach toward the screen and it changes and highlights the things it thinks you might want to click on. Plus you can do things like turn on the reading lamp by reaching toward it or program a command of your choice to certain gestures.
E-Active Body Control
This is the brand’s active hydropneumatic suspension that uses the new 48-volt architecture to let it act with more authority and more speed. It can use road surface scanning to adjust to the road and imperfections your tires are about to hit; it can stiffen and soften to stop squat and pitch when you’re braking or accelerating, but maybe the coolest part is the rocking mode where it can hop the company’s GLE crossover up and down to try and get it unstuck from snow, sand, or mud. Or you can just drive slowly down your street looking like your wheels are oval-shaped, not round.
Cars these days are sometimes too smart for their own good. Like when you’re in a carwash and the automatic wipers go crazy. The new GLS gets a selectable carwash function that automatically raises the suspension to full high (to clean out those wheel arches), closes the side windows and roof, folds in the mirrors, turns off the rain sensors, puts the climate control on recirculate so you don’t get smelly, humid carwash air, and then turns all the settings back once you’re back up to speed.
The GLE and GLS 580 add 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp to the 4.0L twin-turbo V8 thanks to an integrated starter-generator. That same 48v system allows for the active suspension to operate and improves stop/start operation.
AMG 35 and 45 Engines
The *35’s 2.0L turbo four that manages to put out an astonishing 302 hp is eclipsed only by the 45, which puts down 382 hp, the most of any series-production four-cylinder car engine, and enough to embarrass most V8s.
This development of the 4Matic all-wheel drive system lets Mercedes send 100 percent of the power to either the front or rear axle depending on traction and drive mode.
Active Stop-and-Go Assist
New for the GLE, this one lets the vehicle detect traffic jams when they start, and it can then help the driver stay in their lane and maintain following distance even in stop-and-go and dense traffic.
An addition to the forward collision detection system, this one monitors if you’re about to turn in front of a moving vehicle. If it thinks (ie. you’ve signalled) that you’re about to turn in front of a vehicle that will cause a collision, it can brake to a stop to avoid that collision.
Exit Warning Function
New on all Mercs with blind-spot assist, this one leaves the blind spot sensors on for a while after you’ve turned off the car. So if you’re about to open the door into a pedestrian, cyclist, or moving vehicle, it will warn you to help make sure you don’t door someone.
This one uses an algorithm to change the HVAC settings, seat settings, and even ambient lighting in ways that Mercedes thinks will make you more relaxed and comfortable on your journeys. If you’ve got certain smart fitness trackers, it can even use your heart rate to decide how to tailor the settings..