With the 2016 E-class, Mercedes Benz have decided to up the ante in car innovations especially with the use of mobile telecoms technology. According to industry reports, the German automaker sunk hundreds of millions into the development of the E-class. The bottom line is, Mercedes Benz is trying to blur the lines between a car driven by an actual human being and a self-driven car. Welcome to the world of auto of sci-fi. Or something close to it. To enjoy the E-class, you need to have a good smart phone. Well if you can’t afford one, you of course have no business with this machine.
The E-class can be unlocked with a smartphone and vice-versa. So what? After all this technology has being around for a while now. The difference between what you get in the E-class is this: unlocking the car utilises the near-field communication, NCF, feature embedded in your smartphone. You simply touch or swipe the the door handle with the smartphone, and presto! The door is unlocked. Unlike the previous system which utilizes the data in your smartphone, this system works with a secure sim card to the car’s sensors which is already programmed to work the smartphone. Previously, to unlock your car with a smartphone, you have to use Internet connection which involves long distances since the signal has to travel to a cell tower from the phone and back to the car. In which case, somebody with the know how can hack your car’s locking system through the Internet. The E-class makes the whole process very secure.
The downside is that a dead phone means you can’t get into your car. The NFC feature in your smartphone can also be used to set or adjust your desired preferences in the car. These settings can be car seat height, side mirrors, air conditioning settings, head rest angle. Anything that can be adjusted can done in the E-class using the NFC feature of your smartphone
Mercedes Benz didn’t stop there, an advanced in-car Distronic Plus radar cruise control makes sure the car maintains a safe distance from other cars in traffic, even cars on other lanes. And in interstate highways where lanes are not available, it locks on the car ahead and varies the speed of the E-class to match the movement of the car ahead.
It gets better. Do you have a problem parking in crowded lots with only tight spaces? Well, the E-class can solve the problem of perpendicular or parallel parking. The car first of all calculates if there is enough space to fit in, then maneuvers itself into the space. And all this can happen while you are out of the car. All you have to do is just monitor the progress of the operation on your smartphone by just scrolling on the car app installed on the phone. The car stops when you stop scrolling. But you can’t just walk away while the car is parking itself, you have to be close to it because the car is communicating with the smartphone and proximity is essential.
Also, for some absent-minded drivers, the E-class can warn you if traffic slows down ahead of you and can also apply the breaks automatically to avoid collision. Avoiding near collision by swerving has also been improved. The E-class would help the driver steady the car during a sharp swerve of the wheel to escape a dangerous situation.
What all this adds up to is that you can drive hands-free. But that is not a license to leave everything to the car while you jump over to the back seat to have a quick nap. You hands must always be on the steering wheel or else you keep getting annoying reminders from the car.
The car is still about 7 months from full production. Which explains why this prototype’s exterior is covered in that weird black-and-white camouflage. The world awaits the Mercedes Benz 2016 E-Class anxiously.