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2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets rear-axle steering and trick new airbag tech

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Mercedes just keeps trickling out more and more information about the next-gen S-Class. We’ve already received the full download on its new MBUX infotainment system and 3-D instrument cluster, but today’s info dump is full of even more intriguing details. All of this information is being meted out over time. Mercedes certainly enjoys staying in the spotlight, plus, the S-Class is full of enough new tech that being able to focus on only a few things at a time can make it easier to digest. The car’s full reveal will happen in September, but read on to get a preview of a few key new features.

E-Active Body Control

For starters, the new S-Class will adopt Mercedes’ E-Active Body Control suspension as an option. Mechanically, it’s just like the system found on the GLE and GLS crossovers. Due to its status as a road car, though, Mercedes hasn’t tacked on the off-road modes seen in the crossovers. That said, you’ll still be able to enjoy the hilarious Curve mode wherein the vehicle actively leans into corners as you go around them. The biggest advantage is its ability to analyze the driving situation in real time and adapt the suspension accordingly for maximum comfort. Mercedes’ Road Surface Scan (camera at top of windshield) is linked up with the suspension, so that when the camera sees bumps in the road, the spring struts are activated to reduce body movements. The tech worked splendidly in each experience we’ve had so far, and we only expect it to be better with the S-Class. Mercedes engineers told us that it refined the system to better fit the S-Class for its ride and handling characteristics. 

In addition to providing greater comfort, the suspension also allows Mercedes to implement something it calls Pre-Safe+. When the side-mounted radar sensors detect an imminent side impact, it instantly raises the body upwards by up to three inches. You may recall seeing this tech in the Audi A8, too. This reduces the loads on the door structures, allowing more of the crash’s force to be absorbed by the stronger door sills. The occupant’s seat bolsters will even attempt to shove you over away from the side of the impact for greater protection.

Rear-axle steering

Moving away from safety for a quick minute, Mercedes has also integrated its first rear-axle steering system into the new S-Class. There are two different systems available optionally. One is able to provide a rear steering angle of 4.5 degrees, and the other can go up to 10 degrees. Mercedes says the first is for customers who are more focused on high-speed stability, whereas the second is designed to appeal to those using their S-Class in city environments. Just like most rear-wheel steering systems, there are a couple big benefits here. When traveling at speeds greater than 35 mph, the rear wheels will turn in the same direction as the fronts. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn the opposite direction to make for a smaller turning radius. Mercedes says that the new S-Class is capable of a turning radius (less than 36 feet) identical to that of the tiny A-Class. That’s hugely impressive and should make the S-Class far more livable in small downtown areas and in parking maneuvers. 

City-dwelling S-Class owners will also enjoy a smattering of other new or improved features. Mercedes has improved both its Active Parking Assist and its 360-degree camera tech. The car can now recognize more spots to park itself, even going as far as being able to park using the lines on the ground without any cars around. There’s also a new three-dimensional image that can be pulled up in the car’s 360-degree camera mode. It stitches together camera feeds from all around the car to show you a model of your S-Class and the environment around it. The image can be interacted with via touch on screen, letting you move all the way around the vehicle to see your surroundings in context with the vehicle.

Rear frontal airbag

The last innovation we’ll discuss is Mercedes’ new rear airbag. It’s the first frontal airbag for rear passengers coming to the market, and its design is rather unique. Cylindrical, tubular structures are inflated with gas during the crash, giving shape to a tent-link airbag. The large central part of the airbag is then inflated using the surrounding air “via specially patented valves in the skin,” Mercedes says. These valves let air in, but they’re designed to not let air out once the bag is inflated. Due to this inflation method, the airbag deploys far more gently and with much less force than a traditional airbag does. Mercedes says that it reduces the loads acting on heads and necks in severe frontal collisions. The rear airbags, tucked inside each front seatback, are optional in case you don’t want them. Lastly, Mercedes has integrated a camera into the front seat of the car that can detect if a child seat is fitted in the front passenger seat. It then warns the driver to fasten the child’s seat belt before pulling away.

Look out for the full S-Class reveal in September this year, where Mercedes will surely have many more interesting technology details to share with us.

Related video:

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/07/29/2021-mercedes-benz-s-class-tech-preview/

Automotive

See 2021 Cadillac Escalade Get Driven With Blocked Windshield

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The 2021 Cadillac Escalade test units are out and about, and first drives have already been orchestrated. A handful of journalists and YouTubers have started pouring out content about the full-size luxury SUV. That includes us with our Escalade First Drive Review.

The Fast Lane, however, took a different route and made videos that are out of the ordinary. We’ve seen the channel do some off-roading with the Escalade, something owners won’t probably do when they get their hands on one.

This time, The Fast Lane Truck does a review with the Escalade’s bevy of tech toys. And as crazy as you would expect from the channel, the folks there tried to drive the SUV with a blocked windshield and front windows. How? By using the Escalade’s VR function displayed on the instrument panel. The resulting video was bonkers, which you can watch on top of this page.

Speaking of, the driver was able to go around the course without issues, twice even, and you can see in the video that he even reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) before coming to a halt.

Before you raise your pitchforks, let us all be reminded that TFL Trucks did the test on a close course, so the test looked safe. Although as expected, both the driver and his passenger felt queasy after the virtual drive. But overall, at least now we know that you can still drive the new Escalade even if your windshield got broken – so as long as the front camera’s intact.

See the full crazy test on video and let us know what you think through the comments section below.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450745/2021-cadillac-escalade-camera-test/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Fancy Acer Book RS By Porsche Design Comes With Carbon Fiber Cover

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Porsche RS models are revered for their performance both on and off the race track, as they are admired for their flurry of carbon fiber materials. Porsche Design is back with another collaboration to showcase its styling prowess – this time it’s with Acer and its latest laptop.

Named the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, this fancy laptop signifies a new partnership between the two brands, something that fuses Porsche Design’s functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer’s technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment.

The high-end notebook comes with a minimalist design, but a closer inspection reveals a 3k carbon fiber cover, striking a contrast against the diamond-cut CNC-machined chassis. With the use of this lightweight material normally used for race cars, the entire Acer Book RS only weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 kilograms) while only measuring 0.63 inches (15.99 millimeters) thin.

Underneath the classy body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce®MX350 GPUs and 16 GB of RAM. The 14-inch FHD IPS3 touchscreen is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial4 Corning Gorilla Glass with an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.

The Porsche Design Acer Book RS will be available in North America with a starting price of $1,399.99. A premium package, which comes with equally great-looking accessories such as premium package i7 notebook, travel pack, and mouse, will be priced at $1,999.99. This chic Acer laptop will also be available in Europe and in China.

This isn’t the first time that Porsche designed a gadget. Back in 2018, a Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS came into fruition, which had a price tag that started at $1,800.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450660/porsche-design-acer-book-rs/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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GMC Hummer EV’s WTF Mode Does A Weird Song And Dance Before Launching

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First thing’s first. What the heck is Watts to Freedom? In short, it’s the GMC Hummer EV version of Tesla’s Ludicrous Plus launch mode, both in function and in its gimmicky nature. What does that mean? Ludicrous refers to Ludicrous speed from the classic 1987 Sci-Fi spoof Spaceballs. Meanwhile, the acronym for GMC’s Watts To Freedom is WTF, and we’re sure you know what else that stands for. But wait, there’s more

Engage WTF mode in the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV, and you won’t just launch to 60 mph in three seconds. For starters, the truck will hunker down a couple of inches before putting its GM-estimated 1,000 horsepower (735 kilowatts) to the ground. That’s a functional component of going fast, but less functional are the sounds that emanate from the Hummer EV’s speakers and animations that pop up on its digital screens.

Watts To Freedom Screenshot

GMC doesn’t offer a specific description of what this means, but the B-roll footage below takes us through the process starting at the 28-second mark. Once activated, a low-pitch humming sound reverberates through the speakers, and a snazzy animation on the main screen morphs to a third-person view of a Hummer EV poised on a space-themed runway. Meanwhile, the dash displays “Watts To Freedom” with stars and bars, along with a message that advises “repeated usage will cause accelerated wear on vehicle.” The driver can choose cancel or let’s go, which isn’t quite as catchy as I want my mommy or bring it on but hey, you get the point.

Selecting let’s go puts the system into motion. The truck lowers (which is also shown on the instrument display) and the driver is eventually prompted to press the brake and accelerator. This is the interactive part, as the driver must brake hard enough to get the all-important green checkmark to then floor it, all while the sound increases in both intensity and annoyance.

With the pedals mashed and the Hummer EV ready, release the brake and it’s off to the races. Presumably, drivers will be concentrating on the road while sprinting to 60 mph, so they won’t see the mini starfield flashing on the digital instrument board next to the speed readout. However, everyone will hear what sounds like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed through the speakers. At least it’s more pleasant than the low-resonance buzzing that starts it all off.

Is the GMC Hummer EV fast? Yes, it certainly is. However, experiencing all the pomp and circumstance that’s not at all similar to Tesla’s various quirky Easter eggs could easily be considered gimmicky in the best of circumstances. We’re at least curious to try it all in person as opposed to seeing a close-up on a video, but we suspect these aspects of WTF Mode might have more than a few people asking WTF GMC was thinking with all this.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/450196/hummer-ev-wtf-sound-animation-launch/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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