Mercedes Benz is celebrating a double victory following the What Car? Car of the Year 2010 Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House hotel on Thursday 14th January 2010.
The Mercedes Benz S-Class has retained its title as Best Luxury car for the fourth year in a row, while Attention Assist, the unique and innovative drowsiness detection system, was honoured with the What Car? Safety Award.
In the last decade the Mercedes Benz S-Class has won the coveted title of Best Luxury car nine times and Steve Fowler, Group Editor at What Car? commented: "The S-Class is built to the most exacting standards using gorgeous materials. The engine is smooth and punchy and when roads become more demanding the S-Class is far more agile than you would expect from a five metre car. We were impressed with the S-Class last year, since then Mercedes Benz has revised the car, making it even better."
Judges favoured the Mercedes Benz S 350 CDI engine which accounts for over 90 per cent of UK sales. The Mercedes Benz S 350 CDI returns an impressive 37.2 mpg on the combined cycle and emits from 199 g/km of CO2.
Wilfried Steffen, President and CEO of Mercedes Benz UK said: "We have sold over 40,000 S-Class in the UK since 1992 and we are delighted that the latest generation S-Class has continued to impress. We are always breaking new ground with our flagship model, while our new technology and exemplary levels of refinement and safety ensure that we offer our customers the very best. Being awarded the Safety Award for Attention Assist, our drowsiness detection system reaffirms this."
Attention Assist is a world first that will save lives. Now standard on every new Mercedes Benz E-Class and Mercedes Benz S-Class the system uses highly sensitive sensors to continuously monitor more than 70 different parameters around driver behaviour and vehicle usage. This wealth of data, then calculates an individual driver profile during the first few minutes of every trip. This profile is then compared with the current sensor data by the car's electronic control unit.
Steve Fowler said: "Attention Assist is a clever monitoring system and it's great that Mercedes Benz is planning to introduce this as a standard feature across its range. The consequences of falling asleep at the wheel just don't bear thinking about."
Steering behaviour, vehicle speed, journey time, time of day, lateral acceleration and longitudinal acceleration are all monitored along with the use of the turn indicators and pedals as well as external influences such as side winds or road unevenness.
By monitoring over 70 parameters the system is able to detect the floating transition from being awake to being drowsy and gives the driver plenty of warning that they are in need of a break. If the system detects drowsiness, it emits an audible warning signal and flashes up an unequivocal message on the display in the instrument cluster: "ATTENTION ASSIST. Break!"
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