Mercedes Benz has a history of innovating state-of-the-art safety features. The Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and crumple zone technologies that are standard in all vehicles today were invented by Mercedes Benz. Crumple zone technology is a marvel of metallurgy and engineering. Crumple zones are compression zones fabricated seamlessly into the uniframe of the vehicle that deform to absorb the impact of any collision. Before crumple zone technology came about, the occupants of a vehicle were the ones who would absorb the full impact of collisions. Now, a vehicle sacrifices itself for the lives of its occupants by transforming and dissipating the kinetic energy that travels through a vehicle like an explosion.
In the days before ABS braking and adaptations by other manufacturers based on the Mercedes-Benz Electronic Slip Protection (ESP) system, any slippery road surface had the ability to send vehicles flying out of control. The suggested method of rapid braking by drivers to prevent the brakes from locking up and sending the vehicle spinning rarely worked in those high-intensity situations when braking control was most paramount. The refined engineering and quality testing to ensure the safety of vehicle occupants shows a special appreciation for the value of human life.
What Are Pre-Safe Brakes?
The Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE® Brake (Pre Safe Brakes) is one of the latest features released in 2006 and updated in 2009. The PRE-SAFE® Brake (Pre Safe Brakes) is an advanced technology developed to improve upon the Brake Assist PLUS technology. The Brake Assist PLUS technology uses radar detectors to provide audible warnings to drivers when they are encroaching too heavily upon vehicles in front of them and are at high risk of an accident. The PRE-SAFE® Brake technology takes this innovation a step further by first applying 40% of the total braking power and then applying maximum power when an accident appears imminent and the driver fails to respond to audible warnings. About one-third of the accidents involving deaths and injuries in the United States are due to preventable head-to-tail collisions.
Although this technology is not a replacement for safe driving habits that include keeping safe following distances, it is an extra layer of protection to guard against those random moments in life. When combined with the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® technology, it becomes almost impossible to suffer an accident. The Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® allows drivers to select the number of car lengths in distance they would like to keep from the traffic in front of them. The vehicle will likewise decelerate and fully apply braking, if necessary, to maintain those distances. The Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® is an advanced automation when combined with cruise control that almost reaches the level of autonomous vehicle driving.
The entire PRE-SAFE® system is designed to employ a number of sophisticated automation processes to prevent or limit the impact force of an accident. The newest versions even feature something called PRE-SAFE Sound that uses a harmonic pitch to prepare the inner ear for the shock wave pressures of a violent crash by activating the stapedius reflex. One of the features for crash preparation is an automation that rolls up the windows and closes the sunroof to prevent occupants from being thrown from the vehicle. In preparation for a crash, the PRE-SAFE® system also tightens the seatbelts and adjust the headrests to prevent whiplash. Versions of the PRE-SAFE® system are also equipped with an Impulse Side function that inflates a side airbag in anticipation of a lateral impact to nudge the occupant out of harm’s way without injuring ribs or interfering with motor vehicle operation.
Mercedes-Benz provides limitless incentives to invest in one of their vehicles, if not for the safety features alone. Although many auto manufacturers are copying these innovative safety features to a degree, they are doing so in the most basic degree. The refinement of the technology by the innovator who created the technology and that continues to improve upon it should always be sought in the first case. While it is good to see that other auto manufacturers are attempting to make their vehicles safer, their application of the engineering principles is often an inferior substitute. We need simply apply the wisdom of looking back at historic flops by other auto manufacturers in knocking-off safety engineering to see the danger in buying cut-rate vehicles. Ford is infamous for releasing airbags that actually killed occupants by inflating at pressures and speeds that were more dangerous than the collisions themselves.
The intelligence of Mercedes-Benz safety technology and their commitment to perfecting it to surpass conceivable safety standards speaks volumes to the value of the brand. When precious milliseconds and centimeters mean the difference between life and death, why trust in inferior safety systems. Mercedes-Benz invented the first automobile driven by a gasoline engine in 1879 and has laid the foundation for the most fundamental automotive innovations in the decades since. When you choose an automobile, it should be the best or nothing!