Sprinter Safety Workshop

Taking on limited visibility, strong cross winds and challenging lane changes: the iconic van, now equipped with passenger-car safety and assistance systems

 

 – Stuttgart

Contents

Short version

Utilizing electronic aids to maintain your selected distance, stay firmly within your lane, maneuver around obstacles and easily park a large van

Safety and assistance systems in detail

Parking and maneuvering: technology features with a focus on optimized stationary or low speed handling

Safe in all speed ranges: technology features focus on dynamic handling in all situations

The descriptions and information in this press kit apply to the international model range of Mercedes-Benz and may vary from country to country.

Short version

Utilizing electronic aids to maintain your selected distance, stay firmly within your lane, maneuver around obstacles and easily park a large van

  • No compromises: Mercedes-Benz Vans brings state-of-the-art safety features to vehicles for commercial use
  • Traction in excavations on building sites, stability on the highway and optimum all-round visibility: the new Sprinter is prepared to handle a variety of driving situations
  • New for the large van segment: Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Brake Assist and the 360-degree camera
  • Van accident research: a team of specialists trained to evaluate accident data, before the vehicle goes into development

Flexible, reliable and above all, safe: The new Sprinter, presented in 2018, embodies all of these attributes to the highest level. With the new generation of this iconic van, Mercedes-Benz Vans underscores its role as a pioneer, driving innovation with the introduction of modern safety technologies in the large van segment. That's why the new Sprinter is equipped with a 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. Additionally, the optional Parking Package with 360-degree camera makes a significant contribution towards relieving stress on the driver. Crosswind Assist is standard, making driving considerably safer at higher speeds.

Advanced safety and assistance systems play a particularly important role in the large van segment. Vehicles used for commercial purposes are often used to cover great distances and, despite their comparatively large dimensions, must remain controllable even in difficult situations. In order to be prepared for the various transport tasks and driving profiles, the safety and assistance systems in the new Sprinter have been technologically enhanced. Evolution in comparison to the passenger car sector includes different challenges, for example, adaptation to vehicle dimensions, handling parameters and trip profiles in everyday fleet life.

"Whether in a sandy excavation on a building site, taking on strong crosswind gusts, maneuvering through dense city traffic or driving at a high speed: in all situations, a driver must have one-hundred percent control over their Sprinter. Especially in the large van segment, you need a prudent style of driving and effective electronic assistance. In the new Sprinter we have taken the safety we offer our customers to a new level, a quality with which this van becomes a unique offer, underscoring at the same time our role as a technological leader in the integration of technical solutions", explains Dr. Ulf Zillig, Head of Product Development at Mercedes-Benz Vans.

In-house accident research makes vans even safer

The emphasis on safety in vehicle development and its optimization is displayed by the commitment of Mercedes-Benz Vans to accident research. Since 2015, a team of specialists were assembled for this purpose. Since then, they have been working on van accident research in order to deduce opportunities for vehicle development that can significantly raise the safety level in this vehicle segment. The accident investigation routine includes the measurement of the vehicle and location. Van accident research has a Mercedes-Benz Metris at its disposal as an operational vehicle which offers plenty of space for the required equipment.

Research focuses on selected accidents involving Mercedes-Benz vans. The analysis of real cases proves to be especially valuable because many more variables are taken into account than in the prescribed safety tests carried out before the vehicle approval. The accident researchers can, for example, determine whether the airbags were deployed as intended. In addition, there are important indications as to whether vehicle components still have optimized their potential. Apart from measuring accident vehicles and locations, the range of investigations also includes dialogue with the vehicle occupants, who describe their subjective impressions.

The new Sprinter: intelligent, interactive and innovative

Since its market launch in 1995, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has given its name to an entire vehicle class thanks to its outstanding qualities. The new generation has been available for order since late 2018 and has been available in Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle centers and Van ProCenters since late 2018. With safety features on the same level as passenger cars, Mercedes PRO connect digital fleet solutions, the innovative MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system, a fascinating design and a multitude of options available including rear-wheel or four-wheel drive variants. The versatile Sprinter offers diverse transportation solutions for our valued customers.

Safety and assistance systems in detail

Parking and maneuvering: technology features with a focus on optimized stationary or low speed handling

For the new generation Sprinter, two different parking assistance packages are available. Both support the driver in parking and maneuvering 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 reverse camera are shown on the multimedia touch display. In addition, dynamic auxiliary lines make maneuvering easier by providing support for the driver in all maneuvering situations, the reversing camera also offers a trailer zoom and a 180-degree view.

Improved all around 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 a clear overview in tricky parking and maneuvering 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, which is familiar from PARKTRONIC. The side protection function is active up to a speed of 7 mph.

The Drive Away Assist function is another component of the Parking Package which 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 2 mph for the first few feet.

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).

The vehicle exit warning system is part of the Blind Spot Assist system and monitors the blind spot sector when the driver/co-driver exits the vehicle. It has a run-on time of three minutes after the ignition is switched off. If opening a door would cause a danger from approaching traffic, a red warning signal appears in the glass of the exterior mirror and an audible warning is triggered.

Safe in all speed ranges: technology features focus on dynamic handling in all situations

The Blind Spot Assist system warns the driver if it detects that a lane change 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 37 mph, the system detects when the vehicle accidentally drifts out of its lane. A camera checks whether the broken or solid lane markings on the highway 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. 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 lanes of traffic on highways and main roads. To use this system, the driver sets a desired speed greater than 15 mph 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 maneuvers 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.

If the distance to a vehicle in front is too small, the Active Braking Assist function warns visually. If a collision hazard is detected, an acoustic warning is issued. In addition, the system can support the driver's braking and autonomously reduce the speed if there is no reaction.

The Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) function ensures greater safety when towing a trailer. TSA is an additional function of the ESP® Electronic Stability Program and makes use of its sensors. With the help of the yaw-rate sensor,it detects movements around the vehicle's vertical axis and initiates countermeasures. It actively dampens the pendulum oscillation with theaid of wheel-specific, alternating braking interventions on the front axle. In most cases this is sufficient to completely eliminate the pendulum oscillations. However, if the pendulum oscillations are very strong, the engine torque is additionally reduced and the towing vehicle is braked on all four wheels in order to leave the critical speed range as quickly as possible.

The selectable all-wheel drive of the new-generation Sprinter improves traction, particularly in challenging weather conditions or on poor roads, thereby enhancing driving safety and the driving dynamics. A low-range gear is additionally available for tough operations. The automatic transmission has been updated to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS gear box with the new Sprinter, combining exceptionally smooth gear-shifting with exemplary fuel efficiency.

When the engine is running, all-wheel drive is selected either when stationary or at low speeds up to 16 mph, by operating a switch in the instrument panel. Under normal operating conditions, this driving mode sees the torque of the Sprinter 4x4 distributed to the front and rear axles in a ratio of 35:65 respectively. This ensures handling characteristics that differ only marginally from those of the rear-wheel drive Sprinter in day-to-day operation.

The electronic traction control system 4ETS makes a major contribution to the optimal driving and handling characteristics. It is fully integrated into the electronic stability program "Adaptive ESP", and its control characteristics are specially adapted for all-wheel drive. At the same time all the functions of Adaptive ESP are retained: the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBV), Brake Assist (BAS) and the Start-off Assist system (AAS).

If one or more wheels lose traction on a slippery surface, e.g. on snow or ice, 4ETS automatically brakes the spinning wheels with brief impulses, thus increasing the drive torque to the wheels with good traction. 4ETS uses the ABS wheel sensors for this purpose. The automatic braking intervention by 4ETS can match the effect of up to three differential locks: the inter-axle differential lock, rear axle lock and front axle lock.

The Sprinter 4x4 is optionally available in combination with a Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) function. It ensures the vehicle's stability within the physical limits and in the speed range of 2 to 11 mph when driving downhill. This is made possible by interaction between the engine, transmission and specific braking intervention. DSR is activated by a button in the cockpit. The speed can then be adjusted with the cruise control buttons or by using the brake and accelerator pedals.

Another new feature in the Sprinter is the Wet Wiper System for the rain sensor. The system ensures optimum visibility even while washing the windshield. To achieve this, the washer fluid is directed through the wiper arms, sprayed directly ahead of the wiper blades and immediately wiped away. This improves the wiping performance and ensures unrestricted visibility for the driver. Particularly in poor lighting conditions, this increases safety.

Moreover, it reduces washer fluid consumption and substantially prevents accidental spraying of following traffic or nearby pedestrians.

 

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