Semi-autonomy at 130 mph becomes possible for 2017 Mercedes E-Class

The first presentation of the 10th-generation mid-size Mercedes E-Class took place before Detroit auto show. The new E-Class is bigger, has a 241-hp turbo four-cylinder engine and autonomous driving features, which are highly competitive with those of Google. The model will be available this summer.

Let us describe some of the features. Pre-Safe Sound is standard on the new E. The whole system is based on a human reflex in the inner ear called the stapedius reflex, which prevents ear damage. For this kind of damage is a very common problem in car accidents, the system emits an interference signal through the radio speakers once a possible collision is detected, bringing the eardrum into a defensive state.

The Driver Assistance Package consists of Drive Pilot, Steering Pilot, a better version of Active Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist and many more. To follow traffic and maintain distance at speeds up to 130 mph the Drive Pilot uses the Distronic cruise control system. Steering Pilot helps negotiate the corner, taking account of surrounding vehicles and structures even when the road is rough. Drive Pilot is also capable of changing lanes automatically when the driver clicks on the turn signal.

The Active Brake system is complemented with the Evasive Steering Assist, which calculates the steering torque to support the movement of the vehicle. It may help the driver prevent accidents by, for example, expediting the steering when trying to swerve, and slowing it when recovering.

Another feature is Remote Pilot Parking, which helps to move the vehicles in and out of garages and parking spaces using a smartphone app.

Concerning the engine, the new E-Class will launch with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four making 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Three adjustable suspension setups are offered, the best being Merc's Air Body Control. The latter uses separate chambers in the struts to control firmness and it also automatically lowers the car at speed to improve fuel economy.

The E-Class will have Sport and Luxury trims. In the Sport models the tri-star badge will be integrated into the grille; Luxury models will have an old-school hood ornament.

The exact pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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