The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is now expected to be launched in April this year, at the 2013 Beijing Auto Show. China has become a hot-bed for luxury car sales as the rich become richer and the poor assemble iPhones. However, Mercedes-Benz is still busy using Dubai as the hot-bed for prototype testing, as we spotted the camouflaged next-generation S-Class yet again in our town recently. The more interesting bit is that they’ve announced a new self-driving system for the new model. Well, almost.
The 2014 S-Class will feature Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control with Steering Assist that will automatically steer to keep the vehicle in lane, along with accelerating and braking on its own, based on traffic, when driving at speeds between 30 kph and 199 kph. The driver needs to be holding the steering wheel at all times, otherwise there will initially be a visual warning, then an audible warning before the Steering Assist feature is deactivated and manual control is required.
And building on existing tech, the new S-Class will get an updated automatic emergency braking system that will work at speeds of up to 72 kph and will be capable of recognising cars crossing in front of the vehicle. In addition, a traffic sign recognition system has also been developed that can read speed limit signs, upcoming lane closures and no-entry signs. The camera-based pedestrian detection system is also part of the package.
The Attention Assist system has also been revamped and will be capable of monitoring the driver’s drowsiness at speeds between 59 kph and 199 kph. Thanks to several ultrasound sensors, the new S-Class will also be able to park itself.
There’s also a multi-mode rear sensor that can detect if a car is about to hit the back of the S-Class. When another car is approaching, the stationed S-Class will flash the indicators and if it detects impact, it automatically holds the brakes in order to avoid a second collision.
Expect the 2014 S-Class to debut in the GCC by the end of summer.
Keep track of future prices and specs in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class buyer guide.