Updated Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can project driving aid symbols onto the road ahead

Article by Christian A., on March 6, 2018

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has been known to be more than just luxurious as it is also prestigious and exclusive. Now, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has been updated to feature a distinct and revolutionary lighting technology, as unveiled to the global public at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Image projection is not a new concept in cars. So-called heads up display (HUD) uses light to project images onto the windshield just in front of the driver. The projected image by the HUD system features various information considered as relevant to the functions of the vehicle. This lighting concept is taken into another level by the groundbreaking revolutionary headlamp technology Digital Light. While other headlamps just illuminate the road ahead, Digital Light also projects certain symbols – in HD quality -- directly in the field of vision, serving as a visual aid to the driver of a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Likewise, the projected symbols serve as communication with the surroundings.

This marks the first time that Digital Light is employed in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Digital Light will be soon entering small series production in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, with only a select few of its fleet customers taking delivery of the symbol-project luxurious flagship in the first half of 2018.

The symbols projected onto the road by the Digital Light headlamps include guide lines, which essentially are two trails of light corresponding to the entire width of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. These guide lines are projected onto the driver's own lane to help him or her with orientation. The symbols also include an extended pedestrian mark. Once the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class detects a pedestrian in the danger zone near the road, the Digital Light headlamps will project an arrow pointing towards them on the road.

Likewise, the symbols include a distance mark, which a proximity mark that projected on the road at an appropriate time, especially when the Distronic Plus proximity control is activated or the standard proximity is changed. The Digital Light headlamps also project a lane-keeping symbol when it is sensed that the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is possibly leaving its lane and entering the oncoming traffic.

Other symbols projected by the Digital Light headlamps include a blind-spot symbol, construction-site symbol, lane-keeping symbol, low-grip surface symbol, rear-end collision symbol and speed symbol.

To achieve this feat, the Digital Light headlamps boasts of a resolution of more than two million pixels – or over one million pixels per headlamp. The headlamps feature a chip with more than a million micro-reflectors, or over two million per vehicle.

Other road users are detected through cameras and sensor systems in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, with data and digital navigation maps analyzed in milliseconds by powerful computers. Then, the headlamps receive the commands for the best possible illumination in all situations. Compared to the Multibeam LED headlamps, Digital Light headlights are more precise, helping minimize the risk of dazzling other road users.

Press Release

World premiere in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: DIGITAL LIGHT: the light of the future hits the road

The future of car light should start soon for selected Mercedes-Maybach customers: the revolutionary headlamp technology DIGITAL LIGHT with virtually dazzle-free main beam in HD quality and a resolution of more than two million pixels should be entering small series production in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. DIGITAL LIGHT is celebrating its world premiere in the updated top model from Mercedes-Maybach at the Geneva Motor Show. Selected fleet customers are expected to take delivery of the first vehicles equipped with it in the first half of 2018.

”With a resolution of over one million pixels per headlamp, DIGITAL LIGHT not only creates ideal light conditions for every driving situation; it also extends the visual support from our driving assistance systems”, says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The revolutionary DIGITAL LIGHT headlamp technology with outstanding performance facilitates pioneering driving assistance and communication with the driver and can create the ideal light conditions in every driving situation. DIGITAL LIGHT offers even higher precision than the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, minimising the risk of other road users being dazzled. DIGITAL LIGHT delivers an important contribution towards improving safety in road traffic - as an integral part of the overall INTELLIGENT DRIVE strategy.

In the new HD-quality headlamp there is a chip at work with over a million micro-reflectors, i.e. a total of over two million per vehicle. Cameras and sensor systems in the vehicle detect other road users, powerful computers evaluate the data plus digital navigation maps in milliseconds and give the headlamps the commands for best possible adaption of the light distribution in all situations.

High Definition headlamps with innovative features[1]

With the innovative software-controlled DIGITAL LIGHT technology symbols can also be projected onto the road in HD quality. This not only gives the driver information directly in their field of vision: in a second step it could also make communication with the surroundings possible.

An overview of the DIGITAL LIGHT functions:

Guide lines

When driving through a construction site, two trails of light corresponding to the entire width of the car are projected onto the driver's own lane. These guide lines help the driver with orientation.

Extended pedestrian mark

If a pedestrian is detected in the danger zone near the road, an arrow pointing towards them appears on the road surface. This is in addition to the mark already made by the Adaptive Highbeam Assist.

Distance mark

This function supports the driver in setting the standard proximity appropriate for certain situations. When the driver activates the DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control or changes the standard proximity, an appropriate proximity mark appears on the road.

The car with DIGITAL LIGHT technology can also warn the driver about certain dangers and give relevant information on the road. For example if the car is in danger of leaving its lane and entering the oncoming traffic, a lane-keeping symbol is projected onto the road.

The following symbols are available as small series production starts:

Low-grip surface symbol
Construction-site symbol
Rear-end collision symbol
Lane-keeping symbol
Blind-spot symbol
Speed symbol.
[1] New technologies must always comply with the applicable legal framework conditions of the country of commercialisation and must therefore be adapted to them. The capability for approval is currently being reviewed.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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