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Old 03-02-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default The safest car ever?

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The safest car ever?

The Mercedes-Benz ESF concept car has every imaginable safety feature, and some you never thought of.





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With auto safety in the front of everyone's minds these days, it's good to remember that today's cars overall are the safest that have ever plied America's roads. Five-star crash test ratings are now as common as power steering.But cars could be even safer, and Mercedes-Benz has been thinking of ways to take safety technology even further.
The Mercedes-Benz ESF concept car, based on the S400 hybrid full-size luxury car, is a platform for the German automaker to display its most advanced ideas in safety. Click through to see innovations that could protect you in your car in the years to come.




The braking bag

Luxury cars have plenty of airbags inside these days. The Mercedes concept car has them outside as well with a "braking bag," under the car. When sensors detect an unavoidable crash about to occur, the bag inflates, pushing a metal plate down onto the road surface, helping to slow the car and reduce impact



Pre-Safe Structure



This airbag is inside a metal beam in the car door. During a side impact, it inflates powerfully, pushing the beam outward to help absorb the impact

Spotlight lighting

Rival BMW has a feature that uses infrared night vision to recognize human shapes on or near the road and produce an image of them on a screen inside the car.But if you'd rather look at the road instead of a screen, Mercedes is working on a system that shines light directly on pedestrians or animals standing outside the headlight beams.


Pre-Safe Pulse

Higher-end Mercedes cars, especially performance models, already have active side bolsters on the front seats that gently push back to keep occupants from sliding side to side during hard cornering.The concept car's "Pre-safe Pulse" takes that technology a step further. During a side impact, the outside seat bolster pushes the occupant inward, away from the door.

Belt Bag

The three-point seat belt, introduced by Volvo in the 1950s, still ranks as the single most important automotive safety advancement ever made. They're now required even in the back seats of cars. But even while saving your life, they can cause injuries to your ribcage.Back-seat riders don't have airbags to help soften the snap of the seat belt. But airbags within the seat belt itself can help soften and spread out the impact.
This is one safety technology that will hit the road sooner rather than later. Ford Motor Co. will offer rear seat belts like those on the Mercedes concept car on its all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, which will be unveiled later this year. Mercedes-Benz expects to have it on its cars within the next five years.


http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/...ety_car/6.html
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Rival BMW has a feature that uses infrared night vision to recognize human shapes on or near the road and produce an image of them on a screen inside the car.But if you'd rather look at the road instead of a screen, Mercedes is working on a system that shines light directly on pedestrians or animals standing outside the headlight beams.
That won't be obnoxious for pedestrians.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:37 AM   #3
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Awesome. But I agree about the lighting^^
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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And all this only makes the car weigh 7000 lbs. and get 8 mpg.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
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I'd be curious to find out how does the vehicle define the "unavoidable crash" situation??
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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I'd be curious to find out how does the vehicle define the "unavoidable crash" situation??
Parking distance sensors in back and front combined with speed and braking inputs? Does it really seem that far fetched?
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:18 AM   #7
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I would tweak the braking bag to shoot down fast enough and hard enough to allow me to jump over (or onto) the car I was about to collide with.

If I can come up with a way to reset it in vehicle I will be hopping all over the freeway when dumb asses are blocking my way.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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I would tweak the braking bag to shoot down fast enough and hard enough to allow me to jump over (or onto) the car I was about to collide with.

If I can come up with a way to reset it in vehicle I will be hopping all over the freeway when dumb asses are blocking my way.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:33 AM   #9
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The notion of automatically spotlighting a deer is awesome for anyone who drives at night through the boonies. I don't know how well that would actually work, but if it did I want that feature.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #10
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it's a 007'mobile
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #11
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And all this only makes the car weigh 7000 lbs. and get 8 mpg.
Actually, I doubt this would add a lot of weight. Plus the S400 is a hybrid and it wouldn't surprise me if there were a hybrid diesel model soon, at least in Europe (hybrid diesel E-class is already available IIRC)
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:07 PM   #12
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Great technology.

My only concern would be getting into a situation where the sensors think that a crash is imminent and the door bags pop. Kind of like when rollover assistance bars pop up on road courses & auto-x's.

Nick
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:11 PM   #13
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I hope your right, but the things like the plate that kicks down would have to be strong to take the abuse, as would the structure to hold it and the airbag that would fire it. The structure to lock it in place would need to be tough as well or why bother. Then the door beam thing would need to be built up to take the brunt of the hit, and again the supporting structure to mount it, against the pyro load that makes it protrude. Think of the reinforcements that would be required to stop that force form coming in the cabin. These are far more than just people stopping air bags. Add up all that steel, mounting, air bags, wiring, and support structure, I would guess that is easily a few hundred pounds of metal at least.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:13 PM   #14
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On the second thought, how about this. DO NOT GET IN A FREAKING WRECK. I feel we are trying to design for every conceivable possibility...it just cannot be done.. soon we will all be driving tanks.

It all started with the death of the Lawn Darts... how I miss thee.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:18 PM   #15
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That won't be obnoxious for pedestrians.
Especially on parked running cars. Most people don't know how to use their parking lights or even know they exist (especially americans). Now instead of just getting blinded by morons in parked cars while I'm walking/jogging the lights will actually follow me deliberately as I pass by a vehicle just for spite, a'hem safety .
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:29 PM   #16
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The safety movement as well as the stupid green movement is primarily for inventing new ways to charge us more for things we do not want or provide less service to save money. Case and point. I should have the option of air bags, but I do not. I HAVE to buy them. All under the guise of safety, I am sure they do not offer these wonderful safety features as a no profit add on. Their halos look more tarnished every day

You go to a motel, they ask you to use the towels for more than one day, so we can all save the planet and be green. Never mind they save money on labor and water and detergent. They laugh at us when they put those little "be green use towels twice" pamphlets in the room. They laugh when they install the stupid low flow shower heads...Its for the planet.. Bull @#%#, its to save money. The green movement is the greatest generating cash cow in the history of the world.

That is why I ask for more towels just for me and use them to cover the entire floor. If anybody asks me why, I say its for my safety, so I do not get germs off the unclean floor.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:29 PM   #17
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Great technology.

My only concern would be getting into a situation where the sensors think that a crash is imminent and the door bags pop. Kind of like when rollover assistance bars pop up on road courses & auto-x's.

Nick
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:39 PM   #18
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All good concepts, but I just see this driving up insurance and repair costs or we'll be totaling cars like crazy. IIRC, airbags are some of the most expensive parts to replace after a wreck. Looking at these, they won't be simple modules made to be easily replaced either.

All this development is good, but I think the whole industry is going in the wrong direction. As others have said these things add weight and soon we'll all be driving tanks. What manufacturers need to do is reduce vehicle weight. The momentum carried by these giants are a danger to those of us in smaller, lighter vehicles. This has seemed to force manufacturers to make bigger, heavier cars, and its a never ending cycle.

Lighter, well designed cars with good crumple zones and standardized bumper heights would make the roads safer for everyone. Not to mention the efficiency savings in fuel economy.
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:42 PM   #19
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Mercedes did that too (Smart car). Well, except for the crumple zones ...
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:06 PM   #20
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I'm an airbag engineer. I design inflators specifically. This car is a wet dream to me and my industry as it looks like garanteeded business for us.

That being said, AIRBAGS ARE ONLY BANDAIDS. YOu can keep adding them and adding them until your car is one huge airbag and you still HAVE NOT SOLVED THE PROBLEM.

What we need to figure out is how to prevent collisions/crashes in the first place. If you can nail that, these safety devices and the cost and weight they add will be rendered useless and pointless.

But until then, Mercedes can keep pushing the technology as they have done for years (the S-class has done more for vehicle safety than pretty much any other car) and I'll keep collecting pay checks!
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #21
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Luxury cars have plenty of airbags inside these days. The Mercedes concept car has them outside as well with a "braking bag," under the car. When sensors detect an unavoidable crash about to occur, the bag inflates, pushing a metal plate down onto the road surface, helping to slow the car and reduce impact
So basically a mechanical version of Flintstones brakes.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #22
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You go to a motel, they ask you to use the towels for more than one day, so we can all save the planet and be green. Never mind they save money on labor and water and detergent. They laugh at us when they put those little "be green use towels twice" pamphlets in the room. They laugh when they install the stupid low flow shower heads...Its for the planet.. Bull @#%#, its to save money. The green movement is the greatest generating cash cow in the history of the world.

That is why I ask for more towels just for me and use them to cover the entire floor. If anybody asks me why, I say its for my safety, so I do not get germs off the unclean floor.
I will disagree with you and you picked a bad example. Yes saving towels in hotels saves money but it is also more "green". They will use less water and detergent to wash it as a result create less sewer waste.
I'm all for using one towel for all of your stay and will gladly take lower room rates as a result.

Do you change towels daily in your home? I would think not.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #23
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Actaully I do, sometimes. Okay half the time. It is a good example. The reason is they SAVE MONEY, period. It has nothing do to with being green. The reason they did this is not to save the planet, but to save money to increase profits. Do you really think they will lower rates. They will just make more money.

You can use that one towel, power to you. But you will not get a lower rate. If they charged per towel, you would, but that is not the case. They charge you as if you are going to use all the towels. If you do not, you do not get a discount.

None of these companies do any of this stuff for the sake of being green. They do it to save money. If that happens to be green, then they can market it as such and come off as the good guy rather than a cheapskate. It is the hypocrisy of it all that bugs me.
But I have derailed this thread enough. I am shutting up.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:26 PM   #24
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^^agreed; the real green they care about is in their pockets

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What we need to figure out is how to prevent collisions/crashes in the first place. If you can nail that, these safety devices and the cost and weight they add will be rendered useless and pointless.
IMO we need to tighten the nut behind the wheel ie improve driver training and make it much harder to get a license.

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But until then, Mercedes can keep pushing the technology as they have done for years (the S-class has done more for vehicle safety than pretty much any other car) and I'll keep collecting pay checks!
Yup; probably more safety (and other) innovations have first appeared in the S-class than any other model
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #25
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You can only train the driver so much... there are way to many other factors that go into an accident for them all to be eliminated. The only way to do that is not to drive.
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