Safety and assistance systems previously reserved for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are available on the new Sprinter

The features include Distance Assist Distronic, Active Brake Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist

Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter, Van, Driver assistance systems, Safety
Daimler AG

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The safety and assistance systems in the new Sprinter, presented in 2018, have been technologically optimised. Evolution in comparison to the passenger car sector includes, for example, adaptation to vehicle dimensions, handling parameters and trip profiles in everyday fleet life.

The new Sprinter is also equipped with a whole range of optional safety and assistance systems which, until now, were reserved exclusively for Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series. Among them, the radar-based systems Distance Assist Distronic, Active Brake Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. The optional Parking Package with 360-degree camera makes a further contribution towards relieving stress on the driver. Crosswind Assist is on board as standard, making driving considerably safer at higher speeds e.g. on motorways.

The Blind Spot Assist system warns the driver if it detects that a change of lane would result in the risk of a collision. Short-range radar sensors located on both sides of the rear bumper monitor the area immediately to the sides of and behind the vehicle. In this way, they can detect when another vehicle in the "blind spot" of the exterior mirror is travelling in the adjacent lane. In such situations, the system informs the driver by means of a red warning signal in the exterior mirror glass. If the driver overlooks this warning and actuates the turn signal to change lanes, an acoustic warning signal also sounds.

The Active Lane Keeping Assist system was further developed to reduce the risk of an accident caused by an inattentive or overtired driver. For this reason, the focus is on providing an effective and clear warning to the driver; this active intervention in the vehicle handling process only takes place when the driver fails to react and an emergency situation might arise. From a speed of 60 km/h, the system detects when the vehicle accidentally drifts out of its lane. A camera checks whether the broken or solid lane markings on the carriageway are crossed. If the system detects a deviation from the standard, the driver is warned by means of a strong vibration of the steering wheel and optical signals in the event of an accidental lane change, for example. If the driver fails to react when crossing an unbroken road marking despite a vibration warning, Active Lane Keeping Assist returns the vehicle to its lane using a one-sided brake application.

Active Distance Assist Distronic is also available for the first time in the Sprinter and effectively relieves the driver in columns of traffic on motorways and trunk roads. To use this system, the driver sets a desired speed greater than 20 km/h and the system automatically maintains a safe minimum distance to the vehicle in front. The data required for this is obtained using a radar sensor in the front bumper. The system detects lane changes or braking manoeuvres of other road users and can react immediately: if the distance to the vehicle in front drops, the speed is reduced applying up to 50 percent of the maximum braking force. If necessary, the Active Distance Assistant also brakes the Sprinter to a standstill. The Sprinter automatically restarts if it has been stationary for less than three seconds. If the vehicle is stationary for longer than three seconds, the accelerator pedal must be briefly depressed or the Distronic Distance Assist 'reactivated' using the steering wheel buttons. If the system detects that more braking is required, the driver receives a visual and audible warning. If the danger of a collision is detected, the Active Brake Assist function intervenes to prevent a possible accident or to reduce the severity of the accident. As soon as the traffic situation permits, the vehicle is accelerated back to the desired speed.

In the third Sprinter generation, it is the first time that two different parking assistance packages are available. Both support the driver in parking and manoeuvring situations by improving perception with the aid of ultrasonic sensors. The Parking Package with Reversing Camera warns the driver of obstacles by means of visual and acoustic signals. The sensor system covers all sectors to the rear of the vehicle. The Parking Assist visual warning and the image from the reversing camera are shown on the multimedia display. In addition, dynamic auxiliary lines make manoeuvring easier. As additional support for the driver in all manoeuvring situations, the reversing camera also offers a trailer zoom and a 180-degree view.

Better all-round visibility is provided by the Parking Package with 360-degree Camera with four cameras mounted at the rear end of the vehicle roof, in the two exterior mirrors and in the radiator grille. The multimedia display shows a panoramic bird's eye view of the entire vehicle as well as other individual views, thus providing an overview in tricky parking and manoeuvring situations.
The Side Protection function is included in the Parking Package. If the system detects an obstacle at the side of the vehicle, the continuously-changing distance between the obstacle and the vehicle is determined. A computer model simulates the area on the side of the vehicle between the sensors. Depending on the distance to the obstacle, the system emits a multi-stage visual and audible warning, as familiar from Parktronic. The side protection function is active up to a speed of 12 km/h and for vehicles with automatic transmission when the vehicle's transmission is in position D, R or N – i.e. when driving forward or in reverse, and in the neutral transmission position.

The Drive Away Assist function is another component of the Parking Package which, in combination with an automatic transmission, provides assistance when pulling away and helps to prevent collisions caused by putting the vehicle into the wrong gear or confusing the brake and accelerator pedals. If an obstacle is additionally detected in or around the vehicle's path, the system limits the speed to 3 km/h for the first metre.

The Rear Cross Traffic Alert system can warn visually and acoustically if crossing traffic is detected when reversing out of a parking space. In such cases, emergency braking can be initiated automatically if required (only in conjunction with Blind Spot Assist).

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