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PRE-SAFE~The Next Step in the enhancement of Vehicle Safety
Published May 19, 2003 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
In times when the potential for further optimizing passive safety become ever smaller, new ways for improving vehicle safety must be found. Accident analyses shows that the pre-crash phase provides room for substantial improvement, calling for reversible systems that exploit this available time before the accident for the benefit of the occupants. Preventive occupant protection is realized for the first time with PRE-SAFE, initiating the next phase in the enhancement of vehicle safety. PRE-SAFE is embedded in Mercedes-Benz's integrated safety concept, and combines active and passive safety systems.
Announced in theory at the ESV 2001, PRE-SAFE has now seen its first series application in the 2003 S-Class model, and initial field experience has been gathered. Taking nature's reflex as a role model, the vehicle reacts to critical driving conditions identified by the sensors of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and the Brake Assist (BAS) that may lead to an accident. Reversible belt-pretensioners for occupant fixation, passenger seat positioning and sunroof closure are activated. However, these are merely first steps in this new and evolving safety technology. Further PRE-SAFE applications might be introduced in the future. Individual safety and environment sensing will mark the next major steps.