Mercedes has recently showcased its latest research car, the Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESF 2019), at the second edition of the Safe Roads Summit India. For the uninitiated, this event is a part of the nationwide ‘Safe Roads’ initiative which was launched by Daimler entities in India (Mercedes-Benz India, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles and Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India) back in 2015.
The Mercedes ESF 2019 replaces the Mercedes S-Class based ESF 2009 which came with some very innovative safety features such as belt bag, Pre-safe Impulse and Side and Active beam assist. All of which were later introduced in the production-spec Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
The research vehicle in question, the ESF 2019, was initially seen at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show. It goes without saying that it is based on the new Mercedes-Benz GLE featuring semi-autonomous technology and employs a plug-in hybrid system. Furthermore, it also comes with a number of innovative safety features inside out.
It is capable of warning fellow drivers of potential hazards with the use of multi-coloured lights, projective panels and a warning triangle robot. In the fully-automated mode, it also offers the functionality of retractable steering wheel and pedals, so that injury risks can be minimized. Furthermore, what's even more interesting to note is that it gets alternative installation spaces for airbags and head restraints. In details, the driver side airbag has been positioned in the dashboard while the integral side airbag has been located in the seat backrests' side bolsters. The vehicle also features a Pre-Safe Child system which elongates the side-mounted impact protection elements and preventively tensions the seat belt before an impact.
Furthermore, the Mercedes-Benz ESF 2019 also features Active Brake Assist and rear airbag with a new inflation concept. Apart from the new rear airbag, the second-row also gets belt-feeders, belt buckle illumination, USB belt buckles and belt heating. Its Pre-safe Curve feature warns the driver about the underestimation of an approaching bend.