Mercedes-Benz presents the car of the future at ESV conference

The world’s largest conference for automobile safety took place in Eindhoven/Netherlands this month .  This was where Mercedes-Benz presented the new Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019 to specialist circles. It attractively combines more than one dozen trailblazing safety innovations. The ESF 2019 reflects the mobility of the future with new approaches related to automated driving. A

During the Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), several hundred engineers, representatives from official bodies and politicians discussed measures and technologies for further improvements in vehicle safety. This year, the motto of the Conference was “Technology: Enabling a Safer Tomorrow”.

The ESF 2019: New safety ideas for a new mobility

With the new Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019, Mercedes-Benz is giving an insight into the ideas that the company’s safety experts are researching and working on. Among the one dozen or so innovations, some are near-series developments and some look well into the future.

One important aspect is making use of the virtual crumple zone: this term refers to the time that elapses between the vehicle’s response to sensor signals in the pre-accident phase and the impact itself. If an object or other road user enters the virtual crumple zone, many valuable measures can already be implemented to protect the occupants and accident partner. This is possible with PRE-SAFE® and PRE-SAFE® Impulse systems, but also with the help of conventional restraint systems.

The ESF 2019 is based on the new Mercedes-Benz GLE, is capable of automated driving in many situations and has a plug-in hybrid drive system. The ESF 2019 will be presented to the general public at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 2019.

Take a look at some of the highlights of the Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019:

Cooperative communication with the environment

The ESF 2019 uses light signals and rear window projections to communicate its behaviour or warn others of dangers it has detected. It also uses light signals on the front panel to communicate its intentions, for example: “I’ll give way to you”. Thus “informed trust” is created between an automated vehicle and its surroundings.

Groundbreaking innovations

A warning triangle robot is carried at the rear of the vehicle. It leaves the vehicle and automatically puts out an illuminated warning triangle even if the automated vehicle is on the road without a driver. A roof warning triangle can also warn other motorists that the automated vehicle is on the road without a driver.

Integrated Safety

The new steering wheel offers more leg room and can be retracted. The pedals are retractable for greater comfort and safety in automated driving mode.

After being triggered, the new driver’s airbag expands over the top of the beforehand retracted steering wheel.

Innovative airbag for rear seat passengers: new tubular structure and inflation concept; can reduce head and spine injuries by 30 percent.

This wing-shaped airbag deploys on both sides from the side bolsters of the driver and front passenger seat backrests. Its protective effect is substantially irrespective of the seat’s position and backrest angle.

Vehicle Safety Redesigned

The LED belt buckle lights up when the door is opened, inviting the passenger to fasten the seat belt.

A USB socket is integrated into the belt buckle. This enables mobile devices to be charged and connected when the seat belt is fastened.


Connected child safety seat with PRE-SAFE® functions. Before an impending crash, the seat belts of the child safety seat are preventively tensioned and side-mounted impact protection elements are extended if the triggering threshold of PRE-SAFE® is reached.

Installation monitoring: Eight icons on the seat and corresponding 3D animations in the media display signal correct installation.