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2021 Mercedes S-Class Reinvented With Tech, Introduce Next Step To Accident-Free Driving

The new S-Class is described by Mercedes-Benz as a saloon that uses digitisation for a car that responds empathetically to the needs and wishes of its driver and passengers.

The S-Class stands for the fascination of Mercedes-Benz: legendary and traditional engineering expertise defines the luxury segment in the automobile industry.

No date yet for delivery in South Africa, but the new S-Class can be experienced with all the senses – seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling – while offering numerous innovations in the areas of driver assistance, protection and interaction, according to Mercedes-Benz.

The German carmaker says with this new saloon it is shaping the next generation of individual mobility for our times with innovations that place the focus on people.

“For our customers, the S-Class has always stood for the ultimate in automotive luxury. This also encompasses innovations that make their life easier and safer, while also saving time. It is precisely in these areas where the new S-Class sets standards: for safety and comfort,” Britta Seeger, member of the Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG Boards of Management for Sales.

“We are confident that our customers will be excited by the intelligent beauty, the exceptional standards of safety and the intuitive operation and handling of the new S-Class. For there is one thing that our customers in the new S-Class will experience: the feeling of coming home.”

It is expected that from the second half of 2021 the S-Class will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode with the new DRIVE PILOT (optional extra), in situations where traffic density is high or in tailbacks. This could be achieved for now only on suitable motorway sections in Germany. By taking pressure off the driver, this allows them to undertake secondary activities such as browsing on the internet or dealing with emails in the In-Car Office, and so win extra time.

The plug-in hybrid variant of the S-Class will have an electric range of up to 100 kilometres.

Over-the-air update capability to reduce dealer visits

“Hey Mercedes” 

The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” is even more learn- and dialogue-capable by activation of online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword “Hey Mercedes”.

27 languages are supported by “Hey Mercedes” with Natural Language Understanding (NLU).

In the S-Class, “Hey Mercedes” can also be controlled from the rear. Several microphones help to tell the system which seat the voice is coming from. The active ambient lighting flashes at this position and identifies the current speaker.

“Hey Mercedes” now also explains vehicle functions, and can e.g. help when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found. The new Chit-Chat and knowledge domain provides the right answers to many questions, and even questions about buildings in the immediate vicinity, animal noises or general knowledge are answered.

“Hey Mercedes” is now also able to recognise vehicle occupants by their voices. Once the individual characteristics of the voice have been learned, this can be used to activate a profile. This makes personal data and functions accessible to the user. Voice recognition is in real time, using a special authentication process.

“Hey Mercedes, is everything ok back home?”

The homes of many people are increasingly intelligent. Under the generic term “smart home”, WLAN and sensors make the home capable of communication: temperature and lighting, roller blinds and electrical appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled. Motion detectors and window contacts inform the user of welcome or unwelcome visitors. With the MBUX Smart Home function, the S-Class now also becomes a control centre for the home: mobile intelligence ensures maximum operating convenience from afar.

“Hey Mercedes, is there anybody in my home right now?” “I’ve had a look. The last movement detected was in the kitchen one hour ago.”

This is how future dialogues between the driver or passenger and the user’s smart home might proceed using the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) voice assistant. On market launch the MBUX Smart Home function will support numerous devices offered by important smart home suppliers.

Right from the start, Hey Mercedes understands queries and commands in four languages (German, Chinese, American and British English).

Smart Home integration into MBUX can therefore help to reduce energy consumption. It also makes for comfort, because the heating can also be remotely turned up again in good time. Security and the sense of safety are increased because the motion detector can be directly interrogated. And the convenience of being able to turn off the lights after a hasty departure is not without its advantages either.

Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse, 2020, Outdoor, Interieur: Leder Nappa Sienabraun
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 2020, outdoor, interior: leather siena brown

Smart Home accounts are linked to the customer’s individual Mercedes me profile. Linking smart home appliances to MBUX is easy, and is initiated using a QR code in the central display of the S-Class. The QR code is scanned with a smartphone. Alternatively it can be done with the Mercedes me App. The sophisticated authentication mechanisms of the new S-Class ensure that only authorised customers obtain access to Smart Home appliances. Appliances by different providers can be connected and interrogated at the same time. A concerned “Hey Mercedes, is everything ok at home?” therefore causes all the installed equipment to be interrogated, prioritised by movement, windows/doors open, lights and heating. The answer might be: “All the windows are closed, and the light is still on in the bedroom.”

Though light can of course be very desirable: “Hey Mercedes, please switch the light on in the garage. I’ll be home in ten minutes.” “Will do, I’m switching the light on in the garage.”

The S-Class is the world’s best-selling luxury saloon

“The S-Class is the world’s best-selling luxury saloon. With the latest generation we want to offer our customers innovation, safety, comfort and quality as never before,” Ola Källenius, Chairman of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.

“The future of Daimler will continue to be fascinating, sustainably climate-neutral and not least sustainably profitable. We concentrate on producing the most desirable cars in the world. This is what we promise, and it is the best way towards more profitable growth.”

Intelligent bodyshell design and innovations in restraint systems confirm the leading role of the S-Class when it comes to passive safety. The new aluminium hybrid bodyshell with an aluminium content exceeding 50 percent meets numerous requirements: A high level of crash safety, up to 60 kg less weight and a highly rigid bodyshell ensure outstanding handling characteristics accompanied by excellent noise and vibration comfort.

When a side impact with another vehicle threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension (optional) within a few tenths of a second. This is a new function of PRE-SAFE Impulse Side: It can reduce the loads acting on the occupants because it directs the impact forces towards particularly resistant structures in the lower area of the vehicle.

During severe frontal collisions, the rear airbag (optional extra for the S-Class with long wheelbase) can considerably reduce the loads acting on the head and neck area of the seat-belt-wearing occupants in the outer rear seats. The frontal airbag for the rear seat deploys particularly gently thanks to its innovative construction using a tubular structure.

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