The 2nd edition of the SAFE ROADS India Summit, a Mercedes-Benz initiative to create road safety awareness in the country, took place in Delhi from 20th to 21st November 2019. This time though, Mercedes-Benz India made the proceedings a bit more tantalising by showcasing its latest Experimental Safety Vehicle in the country - the Mercedes-Benz ESF 2019. The car was unveiled in the presence of Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India.
Based on the new GLE (that's arriving in India very soon), the ESF 2019 showcases Mercedes' upcoming & future road safety technology and takes the baton from the S-Class-based ESF 2009. In simple words, the ESF 2019 is loaded to the gills with safety features and it could well be your smart, personal safety assistant on four wheels. Equipped with semi-autonomous tech & powered by a plug-in hybrid system, the ESF 2019 features innovative safety features like retractable steering & pedals (in autonomous driving mode) and Digital Light technology, which offers a virtually dazzle-free high beam of light.
Further, the ESF 2019 is fitted with multiple communicative panels across its exterior (a digital screen for a front grille, rear glass with a digital panel & roof-mounted LIDAR sensors). These panels constantly interact with the car's surroundings and can display emergency signage/ messages of nearby vehicles/pedestrians. Apart from dealing with the safety challenges of autonomous driving, the ESF 2019 also comes equipped with Mercedes' suite of PRE-SAFE features that also focuses on the safety of infant/child occupants.
In case of an emergency stop, the car's communication screens display a warning triangle and a small robot with the same sign is released from the car's rear that goes up to the vehicles behind to warn them! Also, do keep in mind that the features shown on the ESF 2019 will slowly trickle down on to Mercedes' production vehicles over the next decade. Some of the features (like Level-II autonomous driving) are even available across select models in India.