The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-class was unveiled in the previous year and brought with it a suite of semi-autonomous features which was surprising since the flagship S-class is usually the vehicle that new features debuted on. This year, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class finally gets the suite, albeit in upgraded form.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-class Prototype's upgraded driver-assistance tech. The finally gets the Drive Pilot driver-assistance features that debuted in the 2017 E-class. The semi-autonomous driver assistance features found on the E-class is labeled Generation 4 technology which includes a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree array of radar and ultrasonic sensors.
The new S-class sports Generation 4.5 driver-assistance technology although the hardware is more or less the same as the one found in the E-class. The only difference would be the software between the two as the S-class has a smarter lane-change feature and a new map-based adaptive cruise control. The on the vehicle are the Active Lane Change Assist and Active Distance Assist Distronic.
The S-class's Active Lane Change Assist provides the vehicle with the ability to merge more cleverly into an adjacent lane. Initiating an automatic lane change just requires a single tap of the signal turn stalk. Once initiated, the vehicle will attempt a lane change within 10 seconds with graphics showing the attempt on the gauge cluster display. The feature can be turned off but is readily available for use whenever Active Steering Assist is active.
The Active Distance Assist Distronic, on the other hand, has the ability to utilize map data to slow down the vehicle from the set speed for cruise control for when turning corners and roundabouts. This is in addition to the vehicle reacting only to road objects and other vehicles. The goal of the Active Distance Assist Distronic is to achieve more comfort and a more naturally feel with the adaptive cruise control on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.