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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Mercedes-Benz further expands Car-to-X assisting drivers to avoid Potholes.

Drivers and passengers can all agree that potholes are more than annoying, often with very little prevention to hit them. Potholes risks damage to tyres and the suspension system, as well as cause accidents. Mercedes believes it can assist greatly in helping drivers preempt this common safety hazard with additional Car-to-X functions.

The company's new C-Class, S - Class and EQS can detect potholes or speed bumps. The " Car-to-X Communication " service is activated when the chassis control unit registers such an event, and the service is activated. Information is communicated to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud in real-time via the mobile phone network, together with positional data. Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the vicinity are informed, and the events are displayed with icons on the navigation map. About ten seconds before the relevant lane section is reached, an audible warning is given, and the icon is visually highlighted.

The company says that all 3 million Mercedes-Benz passenger cars produced from 2016 onwards can receive the warning information. Prerequisites are a Mercedes me account and activation and online availability of the "Car-to-X Communication" service. In these vehicles, warnings are given with the familiar voice output "Traffic event ahead". In addition, the audible alarm in the new C-Class, S-Class and EQS is "Look out, pothole!" or "Attention, speed bump". The new alerts are now available in selected markets worldwide and in all 36 languages recognised by the infotainment system.

Mercedes-Benz developed the new Car-to-X functions entirely in-house. The new pothole detection system was tested at the Immendingen Test and Technology Centre, among other locations. More than 30 different test and trial tracks are available there over an area of 520 hectares, including what are known as comfort tracks with bumps and potholes of all kinds.

New-generation C-Class and S-Class models and the EQS can detect potholes when a specific threshold value is reached during sudden suspension compression and rebound. This also occurs at the rear axle after the front axle, with the front axle a certain time delay. A similar algorithm is used to detect speed bumps: in this case, detection is via the compression and rebound sequence.

Another Car-to-X function from Mercedes-Benz uses the information from Crosswind Assist: If this assistance system becomes active in the event of a strong crosswind and supports the driver with targeted braking or steering interventions, the Mercedes-Benz Cloud is also notified. Drivers following behind can therefore be specifically warned of gusts.

Because the sensors of other cars are also used, the Car-to-X technology significantly expands the coverage of the vehicle's own sensor technology, e.g. the radar or camera systems. The Car-to-X technology allows a look around the corner.

Mercedes-Benz already introduced mobile networking in 2013, establishing a technology that allows danger warnings to be transmitted and received. Beginning with the E Class, Car-to-X Communication has been installed as standard with navigation systems and since 2016 in all Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

To use the "Car-to-X" service, drivers must have a Mercedes me connect account and have activated the service. Only then are data registered in the vehicle, and the vehicle-related Car-to-X data are sent to the backend, where they are anonymised.

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