Mercedes-Benz Solves The Driver Assist Steering Wheel Warning Hassle
Anyone who owns a vehicle with lane keep of steering assist knows that the steering wheel warning is a hassle. These systems have a safety feature that requires that the driver keeps in contact with the steering wheel. The imaginary scenario is that you will be ready to steer in an emergency, We doubt that is the case, but the warning is necessary to keep the lawyers happy. The problem is, these warnings come on constantly when we DO HAVE our hands n the steering wheel. And it is across all brands we have tested. Except Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz has a new technology that does not require that you hear the warning and then jiggle the wheel. A two-zone sensor mat is located in the rim of the new steering wheel. The mat detects whether the driver's hands are grasping the wheel. As a result, the driver no longer needs to jiggle the wheel to signal to the assistance systems that he or she is in control of the vehicle. Mercedes positioned the Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel spokes.
The sensor mat is underneath the leather or wooden cover of the wheel and has two sensor surfaces. One on the front and one on the back of the steering-wheel rim. If the driver's hands are not at the steering wheel at all for a certain period of time, a warning sequence is initiated, which ultimately activates Emergency Stop Assist if the driver remains inactive.
We have not yet tested this system, but we look forward to it. We are very tired of the "Please keep your hands on the wheel" nannies telling us to do what we are already doing. Look for the new technology on the 2021 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career to chase his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
Mercedes-Benz steering wheel image by Mercedes media support.