Mercedes-Benz holds the lead on autonomous features image

Even as numerous carmakers and Silicon Valley tech companies – including Google – bolster their progress towards self-driving cars, the most advanced cars in the new segment today are coming from Mercedes.

And it’s been a while since they held the lead over the rest of the autonomous “game” players – Mercedes raised the bar for all back in 2013 when it debuted on the all-new generation of its S-Class flagship the Intelligent Drive package of safety and driving-assistance systems.

“When the S class debuted, I’d say they had a 30-month lead on the competition in terms of technology deployment,” said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific in Tustin, California. “There are similar systems out there, but not with this level of integration and sophistication. This skips a whole generation of S Class — it went into the future. It is 70 % autonomous driving.”

Many of its rivals also have on offer most of the systems included in the package, but Mercedes stands out of the crowd thanks to the level of integration and one unique (for now) feature – the traffic-jam assist. The system allows the driver to cede control over to the car under 37 mph (60 km/h) in slow-flowing traffic, with the S Class steering, braking and accelerating all by itself. Presented on the high-priced S Class, the Intelligent Drive system has also been moved down the ladder to the refreshed 2014 E-class lineup and much of the “goodies” will also become available on the new generation C-Class.

Via Automotive News Europe