Dubbed Vision Zero, Mercedes-Benz wants to utilise advanced active and passive driver-assist systems, as well as actual infrastructure changes to hopefully halve accidents with fatalities or serious injuries involving its vehicles by 2030. Come 2050, the company wants no accidents at all.
The carmaker says that today, their cars already have over 40 systems that can help prevent accidents, or at the very least, minimise injury should a collision be unavoidable. We’re all familiar with things like autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assist, but Mercedes-Benz says simple things like electronic stability control systems – which has now become a legal requirement in Europe – can significantly help reduce the chance of fatal accidents.
Moving forward, Mercedes-Benz says its focus for further safety advancements will lie within software. The German carmaker will be developing a central software based on the future MB.OS platform, simplifying the many control units and lines in its cars to help minimise possible errors and increase the speed of which the sensors and systems work.
Aside from just making cars safer, however, Mercedes-Benz says that a fundamental change to traffic infrastructure will also need to happen – after all, the roads are shared with all sorts of cars, not just used by the three-pointed stars.
Mercedes-Benz says this will involve many different disciplines and institutions, from transport and urban planners, to road authorities and legislators, but when and what these changes entail is still not known yet for now.
The carmaker does highlight the research that its Accident Research unit has done on more than 5,000 real-world accidents over 50 years, which will all go towards affecting the change. The company – in partnership with London – is also currently researching the efficacy of crowdsourced, anonymised data sharing to help identify high risk areas in urban streets.
“At Mercedes-Benz, we are pursuing our vision of accident-free driving. In other words: no more accidents involving a Mercedes vehicle,” said Mercedes-Benz Head of Vehicle Safety, Paul Dick.
“We are continuing to work toward this goal at full speed. Highly automated and autonomous driving will be a 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 this claim in the future.”