The All New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2013


Five new assistance systems help to avoid accidents

A key focus in developing the new Sprinter was on a whole range of new assistance systems – including world premieres in the van segment. New features to be premiered with the new Sprinter are Crosswind Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. This array of new assistance systems underscores Mercedes-Benz Vans’ pioneering role in safety technology and as a driving force behind innovative developments.

The additional new assistance systems spawn a crucial benefit: the electronic aids will help to prevent many accidents. The developers at Mercedes-Benz are convinced that this new generation of assistance systems in the van segment will have an extremely positive impact on accident statistics.

Mercedes-Benz Safety

World premiere: Crosswind Assist for vans

The new Sprinter is the first van in the world to feature Crosswind Assist – a milestone in safety technology and part of the standard specification initially for the closed variants up to 3.5 t, with the heavier and open model variants to follow in due course. Crosswind Assist virtually fully compensates for the effects of gusts of wind on the vehicle, within the bounds of physical possibilities. The need for countersteering in response to sudden gusts is markedly reduced, relieving the strain on the driver. Crosswind Assist is based on the standard-fit Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) and is activated at speeds of 80 km/h and over.

Braking intervention counteracts drifting

Crosswind Assist detects forces acting on the vehicle as a result of crosswind and gusts by reference to the data supplied by the sensors for yaw rate and lateral acceleration which form part of the standard-fit ESP® system. In response to such effects, the assistance system specifically brakes individual wheels on the side facing towards the wind. This leads to a steering effect and prevents the vehicle from drifting dangerously off course as a result of yawing or rotary movement.

Crosswind Assist helps the driver to remain on course in the event of sudden crosswind – e.g. on bridges or when overtaking trucks. The influence of the wind is noticeably reduced.

The sensors of the ESP® system are able to identify the strength of constant crosswind as well as sudden gusts and additionally record the angle of attack. The reaction by Crosswind Assist also accords due consideration to the vehicle’s speed, vehicle load, load position and the driver’s steering behaviour. If the driver carries out manual countersteering, Crosswind Assist will automatically reduce its level of intervention accordingly.

The assistance system is tailored to the individual Sprinter model and its surface area. An indicator lamp informs the driver of intervention by the assist function, thereby also keeping him informed about the driving situation.

Collision Prevention Assist: warns the driver of impending collisions

Failure to maintain the necessary distance from other vehicles is one of the most dangerous factors relating to accidents on the road. Analyses carried out by the accident research team at Mercedes-Benz have revealed that a substantial proportion of all rear-end collisions can be avoided or their severity at least reduced substantially with the aid of radar-based assistance systems.

This is where the optionally available Collision Prevention Assist system comes into play – another first in this class. Collision Prevention Assist is designed to help prevent serious rear-end collisions and comprises the proximity warning function and adaptive Brake Assist. It warns the driver when the distance from the vehicle ahead is too small and, at a further escalation level, when there is an acute danger of collision.

The radar-based proximity warning assistant helps the driver to maintain an appropriate safe distance from the vehicle in front. A radar sensor in the front bumper continuously measures the distance from the vehicle ahead in the same lane and the relative speeds of the two vehicles. The proximity warning assistant calculates the necessary safe distance on the basis of this information.

Collision Prevention Assist is operational from a speed of 30 km/h.

  • Static proximity warning function

A visual warning (warning lamp in the instrument cluster) is triggered as soon as a vehicle ahead is detected and the distance to the vehicle ahead drops below a specific limit, indicating that the distance is not safe.

Dynamic proximity warning function

The dynamic proximity warning function is triggered as soon as the driver’s vehicle approaches the detected vehicle ahead with a high difference in speed. In this case, both a visual and an acoustic warning is given. Both warnings give the driver an opportunity to carry out emergency braking or an evasive manoeuvre.

  • The driver can switch off this assistance function as necessary.
  • Brake Assist pro: emergency braking precisely as and when required

Similarly to ESP®, this function cannot be switched off by the driver. It is continuously active in the background, monitoring the current operating conditions and the current driving situation. Support from adaptive Brake Assist is triggered after the dynamic proximity warning when the driver’s vehicle approaches an identified vehicle ahead at a high relative speed/relative acceleration, the distance from the vehicle ahead drops below a specific limit and the driver brakes in a jumpy manner.

Adaptive Brake Assist is able to support emergency braking according to the relative speed/relative acceleration and the distance from the identified object. When the driver fails to apply sufficient brake power, Adaptive Brake Assist intervenes to generate only the precise amount of additional deceleration that is required to avoid an accident. This also gives the traffic behind the longest possible response time to avoid a rear-end collision. In many cases, this intervention may be sufficient to avoid a rear-end collision.

The driver can override the intervention by adaptive Brake Assist at any time, i.e. if the driver initiates harder braking than the system identifies as necessary, the driver’s action will take priority.

Conversely, intervention will be stopped if the driver carries out an evasive manoeuvre, takes his foot off the brake pedal or presses the accelerator pedal.