The Sprinter Provides Even More Safety

by Giuseppe Milazzo Van

The Sprinter Provides Even More Safety

Four more safety innovations are optionally available for the new Sprinter: Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, which warns the driver of an inadequate safety distance from a vehicle ahead or the danger of a rear-end collision. Mercedes-Benz accident researchers expect COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST to lead to a drastic reduction in serious rear-end collisions.

In the "European Innovation Award" at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf in August 2014, the Sprinter won first place among ten nominated vehicles for this unrivalled package of features in the van segment. The award is presented for new, particularly innovative camper features, as determined by specialist journalists from all over Europe. The winners are chosen by a total of eleven caravanning magazines. The Sprinter was able to convince the jury in the category of base vehicles for camper bodies and conversions.

COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST: Warning of inadequate safety distance

COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST is a further premiere in this class and can prevent serious rear-end collisions. This safety system features a radar-based visual distance warning, an additional acoustic collision warning and situation-based braking assistance provided by adaptive Brake Assist BAS PRO. A radar sensor in the front bumper continuously measures the distance from the vehicle ahead in the same lane and the vehicles’ relative speeds. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST uses these data to calculate the minimum safety distance necessary. If there is a risk of a collision with moving or stopping vehicles, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST issues the driver with a visual and audible warning. In conjunction with adaptive Brake Assist BAS PRO, the system helps the driver to brake with utmost precision and readjusts the braking pressure should the situation change.

Blind Spot Assist: Help when changing lanes

Blind Spot Assist provides support when changing lanes by warning the driver if there are other vehicles in the blind spot. It becomes active from a speed of approx. 30 km/h and is based on close-range radar sensors. These monitor the adjacent lanes on both sides of the vehicle. If the sensors detect a car or motorcycle in the blind spot while the vehicle is in motion, a red hazard warning signal appears in the relevant exterior mirror. If the assistance system detects that the driver has activated the indicators and intends to change lanes nevertheless, an audible warning is sounded and the red warning symbol starts to flash.

Lane Keeping Assist: Warning at the edge of the carriageway

The optional Lane Keeping Assist issues a warning if the Sprinter leaves its lane unintentionally. A camera behind the windscreen monitors the road ahead. An electronic control unit continuously analyses the captured data and recognises the lane and its markings through contrast comparison. If the van threatens to cross the side markings without indicating or with no noticeable driver activity, the control unit assumes that the vehicle is leaving the lane unintentionally and sounds an audible warning. Lane Keeping Assist is active from a speed of 60 km/h.

Highbeam Assist: Ideal illumination of the road ahead

The best possible visibility, also at night, is crucial to safe driving. The new Highbeam Assist uses activation/deactivation of the full beam according to the given situation for optimum illumination of the road. This means that the road ahead and any hazards can be recognised sooner and more clearly. At the same time, there is less dazzling of oncoming traffic or vehicles travelling in front. The system is based on a camera on the inside of the windscreen. If it recognises oncoming vehicles or well-lit vehicles travelling in front, the system automatically switches from full beam to dipped beam. Highbeam Assist distinguishes between moving and stationary objects. Once the road is clear, the assistance system switches to full beam again. The camera system also recognises road lighting, in which case it automatically deactivates full beam – for example in built-up areas. Highbeam Assist is active from a speed of 35 km/h. It is available for both halogen and bi-xenon headlamps.

Driver assistance packages simplify the choice

Mercedes-Benz wishes to make the new assistance systems available to the widest possible customer base, which is why they are available as logically compiled driver assistance packages. For the Sprinter panel van and crew bus, the package consists of Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Highbeam Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST. As an alternative, Mercedes-Benz Vans offers the Lane Tracking package for the panel van and crew bus. This includes Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Highbeam Assist. For the chassis cab, the driver assistance package is offered with Lane Keeping Assist, Highbeam Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST. Highbeam Assist is also available individually. The result for campers: In the case of camper van conversions based on the original Sprinter body, the complete range of assistance systems is available. For motorhomes with a purpose-built body – alcove vans, semi-integrated and integrated camper vans with dedicated bodies – availability depends on the type of body. Development engineers at Mercedes-Benz Vans are working on solutions for transferring the sensors and camera technology to the different bodies.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Safety as standard

For the Sprinter, safety also means good road manners, precise steering and fade-resistant disc brakes all-round. Adaptive brake lights warn traffic behind in the event of emergency braking. The lamp failure indicator function warns of defective lights and the belt reminder encourages the driver to buckle up before setting off. ADAPTIVE ESP®, which features as standard, is already a chapter in its own right with multiple capabilities. Its dynamic handling control functions now include:

  • the anti-lock braking system - ABS
  • acceleration skid control - ASR
  • electronic brake force distribution - EBV
  • hydraulic Brake Assist - BAS
  • Load Adaptive Control - LAC
  • Roll Over Mitigation and Roll Movement Intervention - ROM/RMI
  • Enhanced Understeering Control - EUC
  • automatic brake disc wiping when driving in wet conditions
  • ELECTRONIC Brake Prefill in anticipation of braking action.

Up to six airbags for the Sprinter as a chassis

If an impact is unavoidable despite all the assistance and safety systems, injuries to the occupants can be reduced by up to six airbags. A driver airbag is installed as standard, with a passenger airbag available as an option. Both are also available for integrated camper vans based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, as long as their seats are installed in a position specified by the factory. In addition, thorax bags and window bags are optionally available if the bodybuilder or converter uses the standard seats and retains the standard Sprinter cab panelling on the driver and passenger sides.

Find out more about the Sprinter range: https://www.sbcommercials.co.uk/mercedes-vans/sprinter/

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