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DISTRONIC proximity and cruise control system: now fitted in more than 40,000 cars worldwide

  • Electronic co-pilot for five Mercedes model ranges
  • Radar sensor and micro-computers maintain distance
  • Noticeably reduced stress levels and accident risk

DISTRONIC cruiser control systemStuttgart, Feb 25, 2003 -- With its proximity and cruise control system DISTRONIC now available in five model ranges, Mercedes-Benz is contributing significantly to comfortable, stress-free and safe driving. The powerful assistance system, first introduced in series production for the Stuttgart brand’s vehicles towards the end of 1998, is now proving its worth around the world in more than 40,000 passenger cars bearing the three-pointed star. Mercedes-Benz is thus the world’s biggest supplier of automatic proximity control systems. DISTRONIC is available as a option in the CLK, E, S, CL and SL-Class.

A radar sensor behind the radiator grille enables the system to maintain a constant distance to the vehicle in front. DISTRONIC thus significantly enhances driver comfort, especially on heavily congested stretches of road, by reducing stress at the wheel and making driving more relaxing. The findings of the DaimlerChrysler research division show that the reaction time of drivers using DISTRONIC is up to 40 per cent faster than that of those without this assistance system.

The proximity and cruise control system can also improve road safety levels. Insufficient distance between vehicles is the third most common cause of accidents in Germany; some twelve per cent of severe traffic accidents occur because people are driving too close. Failure to keep sufficient distance is also the cause of many of the driving bans imposed by the courts and authorities. This is the penalty due if the distance to the vehicle in front, when travelling at speeds above 100 km/h, is less than two tenths of half the speed shown on the speedometer. Thus at a speed of 120, this would be anything less than twelve metres.

Proximity control by automatic application of brakes

The DISTRONIC system uses one of the fastest and most powerful micro-computers ever developed for use in a motor vehicle. It takes the signals from the radar sensor, the three transmission and receiving units of which scan the full width of a three-lane motorway over a distance of approximately 100 metres and recognise any moving vehicles ahead. The reflection of the radar impulses and the change in their frequency enables the system to calculate the correct distance and the relative speed between the vehicles. Should the distance to the vehicle in front reduce, the proximity and cruise control system immediately reduces acceleration or – should this be necessary – applies the brake. Once the distance increases again, DISTRONIC steps in again as a conventional cruise control system and, at speeds of between 30 and 180 km/h, will maintain the desired speed as programmed. If more drastic action should become necessary, the system will alert the driver with a warning light in the instrument cluster and with an acoustic signal. In this case the driver must apply the brakes himself.


Although checks with auto manufacturers and their representatives to confirm the accuracy of the data, it makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice. Home - News Archives - Car Reviews - New Car Price Quote - Privacy Policy - Contact Us

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