Two-level operating concept with sophisticated new user recognition facility
In order to allow the vast multitude of functions to be operated quickly, intuitively and, most importantly, safely, the engineers at Mercedes have devised a concept based on the proven operating principle used in the new Mercedes Benz S-Class. This concept helps to minimise driver distraction, which in turn benefits driving safety. As in the Mercedes flagship model, buttons in a control panel in the middle of the dashboard serve to operate the most commonly used systems, such as the radio, air conditioning, car phone and navigation. These buttons can be easily reached by both the driver and the front passenger.
The push/turn control knob in the centre of the control panel can automatically detect whether it is being operated by the driver or the front passenger, enabling both to program their personal climate control settings. This intelligent user recognition facility is based on the electrical signals transmitted in the skin: the instant the front passenger touches the push/turn control knob in the centre, a data circuit closes between the control knob and a sensor mat in the seat cushion, switching the display to the settings for the front passenger side.
For advanced operating functions, the COMAND controller developed for the new S-Class extends out of the armrest between the front seats and allows straightforward navigation through the COMAND system's control menus.
Virtual displays for fast vision adjustment
The images on both high-resolution colour displays in the dashboard are diverted by means of two mirrors before being projected to appear at a point 1.40 metres in front of the driver. This leading-edge virtual display technology from Mercedes Benz represents a key improvement to driver-fitness safety as it shortens the time required for drivers to switch their gaze from what's taking place on the road far ahead to the close-up instrument cluster display. Scientific studies have confirmed that, with this technology, the driver's eyes do not have to constantly adjust between close and long range so they do not tire as quickly.
High-power light-emitting diodes for all lighting functions
Headlamps with high-power LEDs enhance the driver's night-time vision and help to avoid accidents. The LEDs are distributed over three projector modules: the light module in the centre is activated as required, depending on the driving situation, and also assumes additional functions, such as main beam, the Active Light System and the cornering light. All of the various lighting features are performed simply by switching individual LEDs on and off electronically, thereby eliminating the need for moving components, such as those currently fitted for the Active Light System.
Preventive PRE-SAFE system with knee bolster plus new head restraints
The preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE, which was first premiered in the Mercedes Benz S-Class in 2002, will continue to be expanded by Mercedes engineers in future. Two additional anticipatory protective functions have been incorporated aboard the F 600 HYGENIUS: active knee protection to brace the front passenger plus head restraints with automatically extending side bolsters to hold the head still. These new features are triggered together with the other PRE-SAFE measures prior to an impending accident, to prepare both occupants and vehicle for a collision.Published 13 October 2005