Mercedes Benz, commonly referred to as Mercedes, is known for producing luxury and commercial vehicles. Its name first appeared as Daimler-Benz in 1926. Having sold roughly 2.31 million passenger cars, Mercedes-Benz became the largest seller of premium vehicles in the world in 2018. The company’s origins come from the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft vehicle in 1901 by Mercedes, and Karl Benz’s 1886 Benz Patent-Motor wagon, which is widely regarded as the first internal combustion engine in a self-propelled automobile. However, an important point about this company that attracts us to analyzing it’s different aspects, is its trend to fully automated driving in recent years.
Daimler AG, the manufacturer of all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, continues to refine and advance the field of road traffic safety, through the groundbreaking Mercedes-Benz ‘Intelligent Drive’ assistance systems, which are becoming increasingly connected as they set new milestones on the road to fully automated driving. Daimler also provides financial services through its business unit Daimler Mobility AG. Their services include rental, leasing, financing, insurance, and e-payment platforms. They also invest in app-based mobility solutions like car-sharing and ride-hailing. At this point, I would like to take this opportunity to get you more familiar with the current achievements and perspectives of this company.
Mercedes-Benz plans to provide a future with fewer traffic accidents, less stress, and greater enjoyment and productivity for road travelers. They are working hard to accomplish this vision through automation, electrification, and connectivity. Today, automation is considered one of the biggest drivers of change in the transportation sector and has the potential to make mobility safer for all, while reducing traffic congestion.
The company’s current brand portfolio includes multiple brands with production facilities in Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Asia. Mercedes-Benz is currently developing DRIVE PILOT, an SAE level 3 conditional automated driving system feature, to transform the time spent in private vehicles. In addition to reducing the number of crashes caused by human error and frailties like drowsiness and distraction, the introduction of automated driving technologies such as DRIVE PILOT has the potential to transform the way people live and work. Private vehicles equipped with DRIVE PILOT can transform vehicles to become a space for productivity, relaxation, or socializing.
DRIVE PILOT is designed to operate the vehicle under certain conditions on fully access-controlled highways, such as interstate freeways. Under these conditions, the driver can engage DRIVE PILOT to operate the vehicle, and afterward, relax and focus on non-driving tasks and entertainment provided by the vehicle’s multimedia system. When it’s time to leave the freeway, or if an unusual situation develops such as approaching a crash scene or the occurrence of a malfunction, DRIVE PILOT will alert the user to resume driving, while maintaining vehicle control until the user is able to do so.
Great attention has been given by Mercedes to the subject of vehicle safety, which is considered one of the most advantageous aspects of this company’s designs. Mercedes-Benz has a long tradition of vehicle safety and innovation. In fact, Mercedes-Benz was known as the first vehicle manufacturer to recognize the importance of structurally designing the vehicle to absorb energy during a crash in order to reduce injury to the vehicle occupants. Today, vehicle safety has been described by the Mercedes-Benz ‘Integral Safety Strategy’ in four phases:
1- Safe operation: Provides a safe driving environment with Intelligent Drive.
2- Critical driving situations: Assists with Intelligent Drive and prepares for a possible crash with PRE-Safe.
3- During a crash: Protects with sophisticated vehicle structures and adaptive restraint systems.
4- After a crash: Warns other road users and calls for professional assistance if needed.
Moreover, Mercedes-Benz has been following through with consumer education and training in a highly effective manner. Before customers experience the DRIVE PILOT feature, it is important to inform them of the best practices for operating their vehicle. To that end, the company continues to develop education and enhanced training assistance, and provides opportunities for the customers to inform and train themselves. Information about DRIVE PILOT is also provided in multiple formats, such as hands-on training by sales personnel at dealerships, printed materials, and a variety of digital media in order to help educate customers with varying technical backgrounds.
As the parent company of Mercedes, ‘bringing people together’ could be mentioned as a factor that has made Daimler successful. The Cooperation & Innovation Management division within the Research & Development team initiates strategic partnerships with external companies in order to bring innovation into the vehicles and ecosystems more quickly and efficiently. They believe it is important to cooperate early with external drivers of innovation, start-ups, and tech companies, in order to continuously develop Daimler’s technology leadership. This matter can affect different aspects of Daimler as a company, including its role as an innovation forerunner. This also influences the employees who can focus on their core business activities, and their cooperation partners, who can promote their innovation together with a radiating brand.
Daimler follows some ambitious goals in order to maintain its status as a pioneer of safety and innovation in designing. They are planning to develop a full range of automated driving options and experiences for every need, eventually creating up to (and including) level 5 full automated driving, which will offer the same degree of mobility provided by human-driven vehicles today. Some automated driving features will be utilized for personal vehicles, such as the DRIVE PILOT technology aforementioned in this text. With the Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT, people can begin to experience the advantages of automated driving in the comfort of their own vehicle. Further development of this technology will also be used to enable automated package and freight delivery services. As a result, it is not unimaginable that we could hear some great news about the progress of this company, in regards to the growing field of automation.