Four New Models Feature Enhanced Glass, Technology

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is a nexus point for new model launches. The show began earlier this week and runs through January 24. Here are four new vehicles on display in Detroit that feature panoramic sunroofs and enhanced advanced-driver-assistance systems.

Lincoln

Lincoln Motor Co. revealed its all-new Lincoln Continental.

“An elegant available panoramic sunroof covers nearly the entire roof area; the front half slides up and over the rear—creating a large open-air driving experience and an even greater feeling of spaciousness for up to five Continental occupants,” according to a statement from Lincoln.

The vehicle features Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which uses radar and camera technology to scan the roadway ahead and, if a collision risk with a vehicle or pedestrian is detected, a warning is provided to the driver.

If the driver does not respond in time, the system can automatically apply up to full braking force to help reduce the severity of or even eliminate some frontal collisions.

The new Continental also includes adaptive cruise control, which can automatically slow the vehicle in stop-and-go traffic—resuming speed when traffic clears.

“To take the stress out of parallel and perpendicular parking, the new 360-degree camera system uses views from cameras mounted in the grille, decklid and 180-degree side mirrors, then seamlessly stitches these snapshots together to create an image in the screen so the driver can see around the car—as if a camera is overhead,” according to Lincoln’s statement.

Mercedes-Benz

During NAIAS, Mercedes-Benz introduced its new E-Class model, which features new advanced-driver-assistance-system technology.

“The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. In addition, it enhances efficiency, safety and comfort, reduces the stress level when driving and intensifies driving pleasure,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development.

So what makes this model so special? According to the company, it features Drive Pilot. This represents Mercedes-Benz’s next step toward autonomous driving.

While on both freeways and country roads, Distance Pilot Distronic can automatically maintain a selected distance from the vehicle in front, and, for the first time, it can follow the traffic at speeds of up to 130 mph, according to the company.

“This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from Steering Pilot—even on moderate bends,” based on Mercedes-Benz’s statement.

The Steering Pilot can actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction. This is available at speeds up to 81 mph.

Active Lane-Change Assist is another new feature. This radar-and-camera-based system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver. Once the driver has indicated a turn for at least two seconds, Active Lane-Change Assist helps with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied, according to the company.

The vehicle also comes standard with Active Brake Assist. This system warns the driver of impending crash situations and provides “just the right level of support during emergency braking and, if necessary, also apply the brakes automatically,” based on the company’s statement.

More details will on the new technology will be provided at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016, according to Mercedes-Benz.

The standard panorama roof for the Mercedes-Benz SLC is optionally available with Magic Sky Control. This feature allows the glass roof to be lightened or darkened at the touch of a button.

Nissan

Nissan featured its IDS Concept autonomous driving vehicle. Last week, Renault-Nissan Alliance chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said the two companies would launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology by 2020.

“The IDS Concept embodies Nissan’s vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission electric vehicles,” according to a company statement. “By integrating advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), Nissan is among the leaders developing practical, real-world applications of autonomous drive technology.”

Fiat-Chrysler

Fiat-Chrysler launched its new Chrysler Pacifica at the Detroit show.

Available for the first time is Surround View camera, which uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide 360-degree views, including a bird’s eye perspective of the vehicle and its surroundings.

Other advanced features include:

  • ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to guide the driver into parking spaces.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, which maintains the distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, and can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under certain circumstances.
  • Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which deploys the brakes to alert the driver if an impact appears imminent, and assists with driver response.
  • LaneSense Lane-Departure Warning-Plus, which leverages electronic power steering (EPS) by delivering a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action.

Other standard and available features include Blind-Spot Monitoring, ParkSense rear park assist with stop, ParkView rear backup camera, electronic stability control and electric park brake.

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