The 2019 Mercedes-Benz ESF is a GLE equipped with technology that the automaker says is the future of safety. The car, expected to make its debut at the ESV convention in Eindhoven and then at the Frankfurt motor show, showcases pioneering life-saving technology that addresses challenges posed by driverless systems.
ESF, which reportedly means Experimental Safety Vehicle, includes a range of new safety features, including redesigned seat integrated belts as well wing airbags at the front of the car that will encircle front-seat passengers. The new vehicle will also showcase the pre-safe Curve, a system that lightly tugs on your seatbelt if you’re speeding into a bend.
The cockpit also includes restyled pedals and a steering wheel that collapses into the dashboard when the driver relinquishes control, as well as interior lighting that keeps a driver's attention and a children’s safety function that inflates the seat belt in the event of an oncoming crash. The car also has dazzle-free high beams that avoid stressing other drivers, especially during nighttime highway driving.
In addition, the exterior is engineered with a digital display that communicates with pedestrians as well as other cars by acknowledging their presence. The aqua blue lights around the car's exterior simulate eye contact, following pedestrians as they cross the street so they know the car has spotted them. The digital displays are also capable of warning other drivers of dangers ahead, even if the car is in park and not active.
Also, in the event of an accident or breakdown, the car has a robot that will transform into a warning triangle on the side of the road to alert other motorists. “Safety is part of the brand DNA of Mercedes-Benz. We have repeatedly demonstrated that we are not short of ideas in this field since the 1970s, with our Experimental Safety Vehicles,” said Ola Källenius, who is slated to be the next CEO but who is currently in charge of car development.
“The new ESF 2019 reflects the mobility of the future and presents a wide variety of innovations which we are currently researching and developing. And I can already say this much: some of the functions are very close to series production,” he added.
The ESF 2019’s precursor was the ESF 2009, which was a Mercedes S Class. A number of features from the 2009 ESF such as the belt bag for the S-Class, Impulse Side for the E-Class, CLS and GLE and Active High Beam Assist Plus have eventually made it to production.
Mercedes has stated that some of this current revolutionary technology is closer to production than you might imagine. Some of the ESF 2019 features may even make their debut on the next-generation flagship S-Class sedan.