Stuttgart/Germany, December 21, 2012
Ten years of PRE SAFE®
The car with protective reflexes celebrates a special anniversary
Analyses carried out by Mercedes-Benz accident research have shown that more than two-thirds of all traffic accidents are preceded by critical driving situations which enable conclusions to be drawn about risks or impending collisions. PRE-SAFE® is therefore a significant element of the holistic safety concept of Mercedes-Benz known as "Real Life Safety".
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PRE-SAFE®-Brake: Radar technology not only warns the driver of the new E-Class or S-Class of a potential accident.
Analyses performed during crash tests show just how important and effective anticipatory occupant protection can be. In the case of seat belt tensioning, for example, the precautionary measures mean that the driver and front passenger are held in their seats in the best possible position and so do not move forwards as much prior to the impact as a result of emergency braking, and the loads exerted are therefore reduced. These tests have shown that the head of a dummy is subjected to around 30 percent less stress, while the Mercedes-Benz engineers have recorded a reduction of around 40 percent in the neck area.
Ten years after its introduction in the autumn of 2002, PRE-SAFE® is now available in a total of 14 model series. In 2012, almost 60 percent of all of the Mercedes-Benz passenger cars delivered in Europe have been fitted with PRE SAFE®. The rapid spread of PRE-SAFE® as well as radar-based driver assistance systems right across all model series at Mercedes-Benz is also reflected in the number of installed sensors: some 50,000 radar sensors were installed in the vehicles delivered in October 2012. Prior to the introduction of COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST as standard in the new A and B-Class, this number was significantly lower – the 10,000 mark was surpassed for the first time in April 2011. In total, precisely 756,352 radar sensors have been installed in the Mercedes-Benz vehicles delivered to date.
Triggering anticipatory measures in mere milliseconds: how it works
PRE-SAFE® is able to activate protective measures for the vehicle's occupants as a precaution. The aim is to prepare the occupants and vehicle for an imminent collision so that the seat belts and airbags are able to fulfil their protective function to maximum effect during an impact. What's more, the PRE-SAFE® protective measures are reversible: if the accident is averted, the advance tensioning of the seat belts is halted automatically and the occupants are able to reset the positions of the seats and the sliding sunroof. The anticipatory occupant protection system is then immediately ready for
action again.
PRE-SAFE® is activated for example in the event of emergency or panic braking, severe over or understeer, critical steering manoeuvres or increased brake assistance by the adaptive Brake Assist system. Early detection of an accident is possible because PRE-SAFE® is networked with the Brake Assist and ESP® systems. Their sensors detect potential critical driving situations and send appropriate information to the electronic control units within milliseconds.
PRE-SAFE® in situations with
critical longitudinal dynamics
PRE-SAFE® in situations with critical lateral dynamics**
Driver and front-passenger seat belts are tensioned.
 
The side windows are closed, leaving only a small gap.
The seat fore-and-aft and height adjustment, and the cushion and backrest angles of the front    passenger seat* are moved to the best possible positions for crash conditions.
 
The sliding sunroof* is closed, leaving only a small gap.
Bolsters in the seat cushions and backrests of the multicontour front seats* are inflated.
* if fitted in the particular vehicle **in addition to the emergency-braking measures
 
When installed in combination with DISTRONIC PLUS, PRE-SAFE® also uses the information provided by the short-range radar sensors in the front bumper to tension the front seat belts at the very last moment before an unavoidable collision, thus reducing the forces exerted on the driver and front passenger during a crash. This PRE-SAFE® function is literally the "ultima ratio" of anticipatory occupant protection, since the accident occurs around 150 milliseconds later.
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