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Mercedes Debuts Semi-Autonomous Experimental Safety Vehicle

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Mercedes Debuts Semi-Autonomous Experimental Safety Vehicle

New safety ideas for a new mobility

Stuttgart.  Electric drive systems and automated driving are key technologies for the mobility of the future. This leads to changes in the requirements for in-car safety technology: firstly, much more flexible seating positions in the interior of such vehicles require a different form of occupant protection. And secondly, empathy and trust are central factors for the acceptance of self-driving vehicles. Other road users must be able to recognise intuitively what an automated vehicle intends to do, as in many situations there will be no driver to communicate this. With the new Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019, Mercedes-Benz is giving an insight into the ideas that the company’s safety experts are researching and working on. Among the one dozen or so innovations, some are near-series developments and some look well into the future.

The ESF 2019 is based on the new Mercedes-Benz GLE, is capable of automated driving in many situations and has a plug-in hybrid drive system. In June 2019 the ESF 2019 will make its grand appearance before experts at the ESV convention in Eindhoven (Netherlands). It will then make its public appearance at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 2019. In some respects the ESF 2019 is a preview of what is to come, in others a vision and in yet others a contribution to the general discussion, but it is also a tool for improved traffic safety in the great tradition of Mercedes-Benz.

“Safety is part of the brand DNA of Mercedes-Benz. We have repeatedly demonstrated that we are not short of ideas in this field since the 1970s, with our Experimental Safety Vehicles. The new ESF 2019 reflects the mobility of the future, and presents a wide variety of innovations which we are currently researching and developing. And I can already say this much: some of the functions are very close to series production,” says Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Executive Board responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

“Safety continues to be our core brand value,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of the Vehicle Safety, Durability and Corrosion Protection Centre at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The great advantage of automating driving functions is that in the future, fewer accidents will be caused by driver error. However, automated and driverless vehicles also come up against physical limits, and there will undoubtedly be mixed traffic consisting of automated and non-automated vehicles for many years.”

More than one dozen innovations: more protection for passengers
and partners

An overview of the key topics covered by the ESF 2019:

  • All-round driver safety: When the ESF 2019 is driving in automated mode, the steering wheel and pedal cluster are retracted to reduce the risk of injury during a crash. The greater interior flexibility requires new ideas for restraint systems (seat-integrated belt) and airbags with alternative installation spaces (driver airbag in the dashboard, integral sidebag in the side bolsters of the seat backrests). However, the ESF 2019 also has ideas for a manual driving mode: With daylight-like light from the sun visor, vitalising interior light can help to keep the driver alert.
  • Cooperative communication with the environment: For people to gain trust in the automated vehicle, they must immediately and intuitively be able to recognise what it intends to do. In this respect the ESF 2019 takes human road users very much into consideration. Its sensors not only keep an eye on the traffic, it communicates in all directions and can also warn other road users. The ESF 2019 is also equipped with the revolutionary headlamp technology DIGITAL LIGHT, with practically dazzle-free high beam in HD quality and a resolution of more than two million pixels.
  • Child safety: With the child seat concept PRE-SAFE® Child, the seat belt is preventively tensioned and side-mounted impact protection elements are extended before a crash. Thanks to the tensioned belt, the child is more firmly and accurately fixed in the seat while belt slack is reduced. This considerably reduces the loads acting on the child. Monitoring of seat installation and the child’s vital signs are other functions integrated into the seat.
  • Securing traffic hazards: The ESF 2019 shows how the scenes of accidents or breakdowns could be secured more safely with innovations such as a small robot that automatically emerges from the vehicle’s rear following an incident, and positions itself at the roadside as a warning triangle. Other ideas are a warning triangle that folds out of the vehicle roof at the same time, and the rear window as a communication surface.
  • New PRE-SAFE® functions: PRE-SAFE® Curve (which uses the belt tensioner to warn the driver that he/she has possibly underestimated an approaching bend) and PRE-SAFE® side lights with electro-luminescent paint can defuse potentially hazardous situations.
    PRE-SAFE® Impulse Rear is able to extend the protection of passengers and others involved in an accident at the end of a traffic tailback.
  • Safety and comfort in the rear: An innovative rear airbag uses a special new inflation concept to deploy and position the airbag. It has a special tubular structure for this purpose. With belt-feeders, belt buckle illumination, USB belt buckles and belt heating, the ESF 2019 implements a number of ideas by which passengers on the rear seats might be motivated to wear seat belts using new methods.
  • Active safety: Active Brake Assist with extended functions in the ESF 2019 provides additional protection, especially in potentially dangerous traffic situations with unprotected road users. When turning, it now also detects pedestrians and cyclists moving in parallel to the original direction of travel. If a collision with unprotected road users crossing the road into which the vehicle is turning is imminent, the driver receives a visual and audible warning. Autonomous braking is initiated if the driver fails to react. The same also applies if there are any cyclists in the blind spot when turning to the right. If there is a risk of collision with cross-traffic when turning off or crossing a road, the system now prevents the driver from moving off and, if necessary, stops the vehicle, including from walking speed, by means of autonomous braking. The 360° pedestrian protection system warns and assists while parking and manoeuvring if there is a risk of collision with more vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists), right up to autonomous braking.

 

 

“Real Life Safety” philosophy: learning from real accidents

In its safety development work, Mercedes-Benz takes its lead from real accidents for the protection of all road users. This Real Life Safety philosophy not only includes simulations and crash tests, legal requirements and published ratings. On the basis of what actually happens in accidents, it develops strict in-house safety regulations that in many cases go well beyond the legal provisions or rating requirements.

The key is accident research: for 50 years, in-house experts have examined serious accidents involving current Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The aim is to learn from them, and incorporate the findings into the designs of new models.

New ideas and safety concepts such as those shown in the ESF 2019 can be tested and validated e.g. at the Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). Opened in November 2016, the TFS is part of the development centre in Sindelfingen and one of the world’s most modern crash test centres.
Mercedes-Benz has a wide range of test facilities at the TFS, so as to remain the trailblazer in vehicle safety.

The history of the ESF models: from research to series production

Mercedes-Benz is continuing a long-standing tradition with the ESF 2019:
For the ESV Safety Conferences held from 1971 to 1975, the safety experts built more than 30 experimental vehicles which they crash-tested to achieve the always visionary safety objectives of Mercedes-Benz. Four of these vehicles – ESF 5, ESF 13 (both based on the medium-class W 114/”Stroke/8″ series), ESF 22 and ESF 24 (both based on the W 116-series S-Class) – were presented to the public.

The first ESF vehicle for many years, and the direct predecessor to the ESF 2019, was the ESF 2009. This research vehicle celebrated its premiere on 15 June 2009, at the 21st ESV (Enhanced Safety of Vehicles) conference) in Stuttgart. Numerous innovations in the ESF 2009 have meanwhile entered series production. These include e.g. the beltbag available for the S-Class,
PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side for the E-Class, CLS and GLE and Active High Beam Assist Plus, which is available for many model series.

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 09:27:59 +0000

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Tesla’s Heavy Trucking executive sells $6M+ in stocks

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Tesla’s President of Heavy Trucking Jerome M. Guillen sold over $6 million worth of TSLA stock earlier this week, according to a SEC Form 4 filing. Based on Guillen’s recent Form 4 submission, transactions occurred under transaction code M and code S.

Code M means to exercise or the conversion of derivative security receives from the company, like an option. Transaction code S means the sale of securities on an exchange or to another person. 

Based on the Form 4 filing, the Tesla executive acquired 10,000 stock for the price of $55.32, exercising his options under transaction code M. Under transaction code S, Tesla’s President of Heavy Trucking also disposed of 10,000 stocks at market value, ranging from $628.46 to $664.77. Guillen recently sold TSLA shares totaling $6,440,627.

Looking at Guillen’s activity throughout 2021 thus far, a trend emerges over the past few months. In April, he also sold 10,000 TSLA shares for an average price of $697.87 for a total amount of $6,978,659. Guillen executed similar transactions between January and March.

Compared to Guillen’s transactions, Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Zachary Kirkhorn sold less shares this year. In April 2021, Kirkhorn sold 1,250 shares for an average price of $718, totaling $897,500. While in March, the CFO sold 4,068 TSLA shares for an average of $655.81-$595.08 with a total amount of over $2 million. 

Jerome Guillen’s role in Tesla changed from president of Automotive to president of Heavy Trucking, according to a regulatory filing dated March 11, 2021. The shift in his role suggests that Guillen will have fewer overall responsibilities at Tesla in terms of overseeing the company’s entire automotive business. Instead, his new role suggests that Guillen will be concentrating more on the production of the Tesla Semi, the company’s much-anticipated all-electric Class-8 truck. 

The Teslarati team would appreciate hearing from you. If you have any tips, email us at [email protected] or reach out to me at [email protected].

Tesla’s Heavy Trucking executive sells $6M+ in stocks

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SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Three days after acing record-breaking tenth launch and landing, SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 rocket booster yet has returned to Port Canaveral to begin the processing of preparing for its eleventh flight.

Almost exactly three years ago, speaking in a conference call focused on the debut of SpaceX’s ultimate “Block 5” Falcon booster upgrade, CEO Elon Musk revealed that Block 5 boosters were “designed to do 10 or more flights with no [scheduled] refurbishment” and “at least 100 flights [with moderate scheduled maintenance.]” Relative to the Space Shuttle, the only other operational orbital-class reusable rocket in history, 10 flights with little to no refurbishment would be an extraordinary achievement

Around 36 months later, albeit a year and a half after Musk anticipated SpaceX might reach that milestones, a Falcon 9 booster has successfully completed ten orbital-class launches and lived to tell the tale.

Falcon 9 B1051 is the first liquid rocket booster ever to complete ten launches and the rocket certainly looks the part. (Richard Angle)

26 months after the booster first took flight in support of Crew Dragon’s March 2019 uncrewed orbital launch debut, Falcon 9 B1051 has narrowly beaten several of flight-proven siblings to become the first liquid rocket booster of any kind to complete ten launches. Just four days prior to that historic tenth flight, Falcon 9 booster B1049 became the second SpaceX rocket (after B1051) to ace nine launches and landings.

SpaceX quickly processed booster B1049 after its own port return and Falcon 9 B1051 narrowly missed greeting its still-vertical sibling by just a few days. Together, over the course of the 19 orbital launches those two Falcon 9 boosters have supported in ~30 months, B1049 and B1051 have collectively delivered more than 260 metric tons (~570,000 lb) of satellites and spacecraft to low Earth orbit (LEO), geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and the International Space Station (ISS).

Falcon 9 B1051 is pictured in January 2019 before its first launch. (SpaceX)
Two and half years and ten launches later, the booster looks decidedly “flight-proven.” (Richard Angle)

That performance is roughly equivalent to two expendable Saturn V Moon rocket launches for a total launch cost to SpaceX likely less than $500 million, while five of those 19 launches also brought in revenue on the order of $400M to $500M. In effect, even the small handful of commercial launches B1049 and B1051 have completed likely generated enough revenue to wholly amortize the cost of a dozen or more additional launches. SpaceX has still had to pay for propellant, maritime recovery assets, any necessary refurbishment, and the hundreds of satellites both boosters have launched, but Falcon booster reusability still offers an extraordinary return on investment even with that multitude of caveats.

Falcon 9 B1051’s safe return also means that SpaceX should have no trouble turning the booster around as it prepares to push past the ten-flight target behind Block 5’s upgrade. In recent months, multiple SpaceX executives have stated that SpaceX intends to push well beyond that ten-flight goal as boosters with more and more flight experience continue to come back in excellent condition. CEO Elon Musk even indicated that SpaceX may intentionally fly Falcon 9’s fleet-leader (B1051, in this case) until something on the booster fails during a launch or landing. SpaceX’s own Starlink launches offer the perfect opportunity for that kind of pragmatic risk-taking.

Falcon 9 booster B1051’s titanium grid fins have developed a rainbow patina over ten hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)
(Richard Angle)
B1051’s aft engine and landing legs section certainly looks like it’s been through 10 launches and hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)

SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sootiest-falcon-9-booster-port-return/

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SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Three days after acing record-breaking tenth launch and landing, SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 rocket booster yet has returned to Port Canaveral to begin the processing of preparing for its eleventh flight.

Almost exactly three years ago, speaking in a conference call focused on the debut of SpaceX’s ultimate “Block 5” Falcon booster upgrade, CEO Elon Musk revealed that Block 5 boosters were “designed to do 10 or more flights with no [scheduled] refurbishment” and “at least 100 flights [with moderate scheduled maintenance.]” Relative to the Space Shuttle, the only other operational orbital-class reusable rocket in history, 10 flights with little to no refurbishment would be an extraordinary achievement

Around 36 months later, albeit a year and a half after Musk anticipated SpaceX might reach that milestones, a Falcon 9 booster has successfully completed ten orbital-class launches and lived to tell the tale.

Falcon 9 B1051 is the first liquid rocket booster ever to complete ten launches and the rocket certainly looks the part. (Richard Angle)

26 months after the booster first took flight in support of Crew Dragon’s March 2019 uncrewed orbital launch debut, Falcon 9 B1051 has narrowly beaten several of flight-proven siblings to become the first liquid rocket booster of any kind to complete ten launches. Just four days prior to that historic tenth flight, Falcon 9 booster B1049 became the second SpaceX rocket (after B1051) to ace nine launches and landings.

SpaceX quickly processed booster B1049 after its own port return and Falcon 9 B1051 narrowly missed greeting its still-vertical sibling by just a few days. Together, over the course of the 19 orbital launches those two Falcon 9 boosters have supported in ~30 months, B1049 and B1051 have collectively delivered more than 260 metric tons (~570,000 lb) of satellites and spacecraft to low Earth orbit (LEO), geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and the International Space Station (ISS).

Falcon 9 B1051 is pictured in January 2019 before its first launch. (SpaceX)
Two and half years and ten launches later, the booster looks decidedly “flight-proven.” (Richard Angle)

That performance is roughly equivalent to two expendable Saturn V Moon rocket launches for a total launch cost to SpaceX likely less than $500 million, while five of those 19 launches also brought in revenue on the order of $400M to $500M. In effect, even the small handful of commercial launches B1049 and B1051 have completed likely generated enough revenue to wholly amortize the cost of a dozen or more additional launches. SpaceX has still had to pay for propellant, maritime recovery assets, any necessary refurbishment, and the hundreds of satellites both boosters have launched, but Falcon booster reusability still offers an extraordinary return on investment even with that multitude of caveats.

Falcon 9 B1051’s safe return also means that SpaceX should have no trouble turning the booster around as it prepares to push past the ten-flight target behind Block 5’s upgrade. In recent months, multiple SpaceX executives have stated that SpaceX intends to push well beyond that ten-flight goal as boosters with more and more flight experience continue to come back in excellent condition. CEO Elon Musk even indicated that SpaceX may intentionally fly Falcon 9’s fleet-leader (B1051, in this case) until something on the booster fails during a launch or landing. SpaceX’s own Starlink launches offer the perfect opportunity for that kind of pragmatic risk-taking.

Falcon 9 booster B1051’s titanium grid fins have developed a rainbow patina over ten hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)
(Richard Angle)
B1051’s aft engine and landing legs section certainly looks like it’s been through 10 launches and hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)

SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sootiest-falcon-9-booster-port-return/

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Tesla sends brief update for Model S Plaid’s customer deliveries

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The excitement is palpable for the new Tesla Model S. Since it was formally announced, Tesla has mentioned that the demand for the flagship sedan has been particularly strong. But while orders for the new Model S may be notable, Tesla has found it a bit more challenging to actually get the vehicle to customers. 

During Tesla’s Q4 and FY 2020 earnings call, Elon Musk estimated that the new Model S would start customer deliveries sometime in February. Subsequent drone flyovers of the Fremont factory later showed that the flagship sedan was indeed getting produced. However, February came and went, and customer deliveries of the new Model S were still yet begin. 

Credit: Teslarati via @BlakeM in San Francisco

Elon Musk explained this delay in the first quarter earnings call last month. According to the CEO, Tesla met more challenges than expected in bringing the new Model S to market. This was partly due to the supply chain shortages that have been adversely affecting the auto industry. 

“With respect to the Model S and X, there were more challenges than expected in developing the Model S or what we call the Palladium program, which is the new version of Model S and X, which has revised interior and new battery pack and new drive units and new internal electronics,” Musk said

Just recently, however, some customers waiting for their new Model S orders received a message from the electric car maker. The message was short, though it provided a brief update on Tesla’s upcoming deliveries of the flagship sedan. 

Following is the message that a Tesla representative sent to a Model S reservation holder. It should be noted that the Tesla customer who received the message ordered his Model S late last year, not after the official announcement of the vehicle earlier this year. 

“Good afternoon, and hope you are having an awesome start to your week thus far!

“First off, thank you for your patience and professionalism towards myself and Tesla during this waiting period since you began the Model S order process with us. 

“Today, Tesla has begun to provide more information internally on when deliveries will potentially take place for Model S orders based upon when they began the order process with us, and I wanted to share your anticipated delivery timeframe with you. 

“Due to high volume of Model S orders Tesla has at this time, we currently don’t have an estimated delivery date for you but that should change within the next week, as soon as there is an estimated delivery date provided internally for you order, I will reach out ASAP.”

Granted, the message is a minor update than an actual timeframe for Model S refresh and Plaid deliveries. It does, however, hint that the EV maker is doing all it can to start customer deliveries of its best sedan to date. For a vehicle like the new Model S, after all, the long wait would likely be worth it.  

Don’t hesitate to contact us for news tips. Just send a message to [email protected] to give us a heads up.

Tesla sends brief update for Model S Plaid’s customer deliveries

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