If you drive a vehicle, chances are that you have been involved in at least one car accident. Fortunately, modern cars are much safer than they used to be, but is it possible to completely eliminate crashes? It seems impossible, but Mercedes-Benz wants to try.
The effort has an official name with the German automaker: Vision Zero. In short, Mercedes wants to combine a state-of-the-art driver assistance system with infrastructure changes and greater awareness of a potentially hazardous environment. By 2030, Mercedes hopes to reduce accidents with fatalities or serious injuries involving its vehicles by half, compared to the 2020 statistics. For 2050, the company wants Not accident at all.
How exactly did Mercedes intend to do this? Building vehicles with advanced autonomous systems is part of that answer. Modern Mercedes vehicles already offer 40 active driver assistance systems that can help prevent accidents or minimize injury if a collision is unavoidable. Autonomous emergency braking and steering assist are arguably the system’s best-known features, but other features such as Pre-Safe Sound – launched in 2016 – emit a specific pitch milliseconds before impact which can reduce the chance of hearing loss from a loud impact.
Building safer cars is well and good, but how can Mercedes control what? other drivers do on the road? That will always be the uncontrollable variable in the equation, but changes to traffic infrastructure are another part of the plan. It requires a physical change, although exactly when and how that change will occur is currently unknown. However, Mercedes highlights research conducted on more than 5,000 real-world accidents over 50 years to help effect change. Identifying high-risk locations through the Mercedes-Benz Road Safety Dashboard can further remind drivers to be more vigilant when entering certain areas.
“At Mercedes-Benz, we are pursuing our vision of accident-free driving. In other words: no more accidents involving Mercedes vehicles,” said Paul Dick, head of vehicle safety at Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “We are continuing to work towards this goal at full speed. The highly automated and autonomous driver will be the decisive contributor to its success. After all, vehicle safety has always been at the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand – and we want to continue to expand on this claim in the future.”