Mercedes Benz Previews Next Generation Technologies at CES 2014
|   Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas this year saw a bunch of German car companies come up with technological marvels, aimed at improving the way we look at cars. Mercedes Benz used this platform to showcase various conceptual ideas, which could enhance the driver machine interaction, if successfully implemented. Work is on, to ensure smooth research and application in production vehicles.

A key feature developed recently is Predictive User Interface, which is an insight into how intelligent vehicles in future will know of their driver's habits, using multimedia systems and satellite navigation.
These vehicles will be able to read, understand, learn, adapt, predict and interact with the driver. Try and imagine this scenario, you are travelling to work on a cold winter morning, while you vehicle already known your destination and has figured out the fastest route, considering weather and traffic information.

Your vehicles automatically heats up the occupied seats, steering wheel and armrests, following predefined settings. This may seem impossible now, even though it should be reality within a few years. Mercedes Benz is also working on a website known as Vehicle Home, through which owners can track down their vehicles and study performance data recorded over time. Basic observations such as fuel meter, tire pressure etc can be monitored remotely, even when the vehicle is not close at hand.

This technology is near completed and should be implemented on their new B Class Electric Drive vehicles, slated for an end 2014 reveal. Wearable devices have also been portrayed this year, although they are far from produced on a commercial scale. However, it is a part of their general plan. Mercedes Benz has entered into a partnership with Pebble Technologies, in order to design a smart watch, which could provide remote access to every owner.

This smart phone based device features an integrated operating system, is easy to access and displays a wide variety of options. Another major topic at this year's CES was the introduction of an autonomous driving technology by BMW. They claim it's already in production, although we need to wait till their first vehicle is ready for test driving. Mercedes Benz Research and Development Boss, Thomas Webber says that their E Class is capable of autonomous driving till a certain point, although it is not as advanced as what BMW has on offer.

Steering Assist and Distronic Plus systems were recently added, which ensure safe distance between vehicles along with lane change assist. Cruise control has been added along with radar controlled BAS Plus braking system, which applies brakes automatically when the vehicle senses an imminent threat.

Autonomous driving cannot be achieved overnight, even though it is the talking point of this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Technology is however not the only hurdle, as governments have to alter traffic rules, regulations, setup detailed routes and maps. Computing power needs to be added, while a large scale social debate is necessary to ensure fair thoughts. Mercedes Benz is trying its best to work on autonomous driving vehicles, even though this could take some time.
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