Mercedes-Benz launches Car to X with made in India S-Class
Mercedes-Benz has launched its Car-to-X communication technology in India. This Internet of Things or IoT enabled technology will help Mercedes cars and SUVs to be networked with road infrastructure, informing other Mercedes cars of hazards and preventing accidents as well. This is a significant milestone until total autonomous driving has been reached. While being present globally, the Car-to-X system will make its India debut with the locally-produced Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
What is Car-to-X?
The Car-to-X communication technology enables the continuous exchange of information between Mercedes-Benz cars in real time, with the cars ‘talking’ to each other. This system also works independent of a mobile network or WiFi connectivity, and can also perform a comprehensive set of functions pertaining to safety of road users while adding convenience-based features as well. This tech has been present globally from some time, but has now made its way to India with the locally-produced version of the 2021 S-Class.
Car-to-X: Features for India
Of relevance to India are the eight different hazard warnings that the Car-to-X system displays. These include situations like slippery roads, heavy rain and accidents. Car-to-X also warns other compatible Mercedes-Benz cars within a three kilometre radius of these hazards, by means of displaying a warning indicator on the heads-up display, the navigation touchscreen and an audible warning for the driver. All this information will be transmitted via Mercedes’ cloud server. With its ability to communicate with other vehicles, the company has dubbed Car-to-X as a ‘social network’ for cars.
Car-to-X: Global features
Globally, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the S-Class are able to warn vehicles of unexpected hazards, but the Car-to-X also facilitates vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. The information from digitally-networked infrastructure is communicated via secure data networks to a Mercedes-Benz server, which takes on the function similar to a traffic control centre. In future, the HERE maps offered on Mercedes-Benz cars will also take note of these hazards and vehicles will also be able to adapt their driving style accordingly, with information collected from Car-to-X. This communication tech will supplement Mercedes’ existing Intelligent Drive functions but with an increased number of sensors, making it work in tandem with Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-assistance based warning system and also Collision Prevention Assist Plus, where the car brakes autonomously to avoid a collision. Mercedes also started field trials for ‘Community-based Parking’ last year, where a car’s parking sensors scan a free parking space as it drives past. This information is then shared in anonymised form in the cloud, allowing anyone searching for a parking space to be guided to the nearest one. Mercedes-Benz has also automated the process with ‘Parking Pilot’, enabling the car to park itself. However, a prerequisite for this to function is a fully-networked parking garage, along with the corresponding sensors and software to be present in the vehicle.
With the Car-to-X communication tech, Mercedes has certainly moved the goalposts forward with the capabilities of IoT in automotive applications, especially with ‘best car in the world’, the S-Class. With an increasing number of features that aid convenience and safety as well, the technological prowess that the luxury carmaker possesses is bound to change the way we drive cars in the future.