According to German auto sites, Mercedes-Benz will introduce the new 2015 C-Class on December 16th. The small sedan (for which only spy photos currently exist) will borrow a few tech features from the more expensive S-Class announced last month, including a touchpad that sits between the seats for controlling the touchscreen display, and a unique air-freshness control feature.
A new feature called Stop&Go Pilot could help with traffic jam headaches. According to an August report from Bloomberg, the system will keep the car in its lane automatically, bring the car to a complete stop at slow speeds, then resume after a full stop. (Many cars already use adaptive cruise control to maintain highway speeds, but the technology turns off when you stop.)
In late October, another early report on the C-Class mentioned a new Traffic Sign Assist feature that will likely only be available in Europe. As you drive, the car can automatically monitor roads signs for speed limits, no passing zones, and even Do Not Enter signs. You’ll see a warning about potential dangers (such as exceeding the speed limit) pop up on the touchscreen.
These features are part of a larger initiative at Mercedes called Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive. In September, the German automaker announced it had completed autonomous driving tests using an S500 and production sensors. A feature called Route Pilot (seen in the video still above) steered the vehicle automatically through urban and non-urban areas without the driver's guidance from the steering wheel.
The C-Class may not be ready for fully autonomous driving quite yet, but the Stop&Go Pilot and Traffic Sign Assist are certainly paving the way.
This story, "Early report: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class can stop and go automatically in traffic jams" was originally published by TechHive.