Jul 28, 2014
- A record: up to eight airbags on the new Vito Tourer
- New assistance systems onboard as standard
- More light for more sight: Intelligent Light System
- New for vans: Active Parking Assist
- Unique in the mid-size van segment: distance warning function
- Blind Spot Assist – support when changing lanes
- Lane Keeping Assist: warning at the edge of the carriageway
- Reverse warning alarm and reversing camera provide information during manoeuvres
Not only is the new Mercedes-Benz Vito powerful and economical, it also sets new safety standards. There is a long tradition of this at Mercedes-Benz – maximum safety for drivers, passengers and all road users is one of the brand's defining core values.
That is why the new Vito comes with safety onboard as standard. This naturally extends to safe, predictable handling characteristics both when empty and laden, precision steering and powerful, fade-resistant disc brakes all-round (with 17" braking system depending on the model).
There is also ADAPTIVE ESP, of course. Provided as standard this system for controlling driving dynamics includes anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBV), hydraulic Brake Assist (BAS), Hill-Start Assist, Load Adaptive Control (LAC), Roll Over Mitigation and Roll Movement Intervention (ROM/RMI) as roll-over protection, Enhanced Understeering Control (EUC), automatic brake disc wiping in wet conditions and anticipatory preparation of the brake linings in critical driving situations (Electronic Brake Prefill). If the buyer orders the new Vito with a trailer coupling, Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) is also supplied.
In a critical braking situation the Vito will activate the adaptive brake lights automatically. In this case the brake lights flash rather than just lighting up statically. When at a standstill following emergency braking the adaptive brake lights are deactivated and the hazard warning lights come on.
A record: up to eight airbags on the new Vito Tourer
The Vito panel van is the only van in its class to provide airbags and a seat belt reminder for both the driver and passenger as standard. Vito Tourer PRO and Vito Tourer SELECT models also come with windowbags and thorax/pelvis sidebags in the front as standard. These features are an optional extra on other model variants. For the first time, it is possible to get windowbags in the rear for the new Vito Tourer. With up to eight airbags in total, the new Vito Tourer sets new benchmarks in occupant protection by comparison with competitors.
PRE-SAFE is another new system that increases the passive safety of vans. In critical driving situations which could lead to an accident, the system activates preventive measures to protect vehicle occupants, for example tensioning seat belts, closing windows and positioning the electrically adjustable front passenger seat.
New assistance systems onboard as standard
The new Vito's standard equipment includes Attention Assist. Based on various parameters, it draws conclusions as to the driver's condition. More than 70 different measured variables are processed for this purpose. If Attention Assist detects signs of increasing inattention or drowsiness, the driver is warned acoustically and by a symbol on the instrument cluster to take a break.
Uniquely in this class the new Vito comes with Crosswind Assist as standard. Crosswind Assist virtually eliminates the effects of gusts acting on the vehicle, within the bounds of the laws of physics. The required extent of countersteering is reduced, thereby markedly relieving the strain on the driver. Crosswind Assist builds on the standard electronic stability program (ESP) and is activated from a speed of 80 km/h.
Using the ESP sensors for yaw rate and lateral acceleration, Crosswind Assist detects the forces acting on the vehicle from crosswinds and gusts. This assistance system brakes individual wheels on the side of the vehicle facing the wind as needed. By having a steering effect, it counteracts possible drifting as a result of yaw motion or rotation. Crosswind Assist helps the driver to maintain their course especially in sudden, strong side winds on bridges or when overtaking trucks, for example. The effect of the wind is considerably reduced.
Tyre pressure monitoring is another item of standard equipment. It measures the air pressure of individual tyres and issues a warning on the instrument cluster if there is a loss of air. The tyre pressure monitoring system fulfils two further purposes: it is not just a safety hazard if tyre pressure is too low; inadequate tyre pressures also increase fuel consumption.
More light for more sight: Intelligent Light System
The new Vito is the only model in its segment with optional LED High Performance headlamps. The driver thus benefits from appreciably greater brightness on the road at night. LED technology offers a high level of functionality and energy efficiency. With a total of 34 LEDs, the Intelligent Light System is combined with Adaptive Highbeam Assist. At 10,000 hours, the average life of an LED is around five times longer than that of a xenon bulb. All headlamp functions of the Intelligent Light System feature energy-efficient LED technology. They adapt the light distribution to the given driving situation, thereby making an important contribution to safe driving.
Dynamic headlamp range control for country roads distributes the light of the low-beam headlamps so that the left-hand edge of the road is also well illuminated. The main function of the fog lamp is to distribute the light more broadly so as to better illuminate the periphery. The left-hand LED headlamp pivots outwards by eight degrees and simultaneously lowers its light cone. The new light function is automatically activated as soon as the rear fog lamp is switched on. At speeds above 100 km/h the enhanced fog light function is automatically switched off again. Activation of the new motorway mode takes place automatically. When driving straight ahead at speeds of 110 km/h and above, the setting of the headlamp on the inside of the lane additionally changes at 130 km/h at the latest to illuminate the roadway over a distance of around 120 metres.
The active light function works with both the low-beam and main-beam functions. Its electronic control unit uses current information about the steering angle, yaw rate and road speed. The LED modules follow the driver's steering wheel movements and can pivot sideways by as much as 15 degrees in a split second whenever the Vito driver enters a bend. Sharper bends are then illuminated much better.
If the main headlamps are on, the integrated cornering light function is also switched on automatically when the driver actuates the direction indicators or turns the steering wheel. The maximum speed for activation is 40 km/h.
New for vans: Active Parking Assist
The new Vito may be equipped with other optional assistance systems to suit specific requirements. Optional Active Parking Assist is new and unique for vans. Everyone is familiar with the ugly dents and scratches that vans acquire from unsuccessful parking manoeuvres in day-to-day use. Active Parking Assist supports the driver in such situations by detecting suitable parking spaces at speeds of up to 30 km/h. Spaces only need to be one metre longer than the vehicle. If the driver accepts the assistance system's suggestion, all they have to do is engage the correct gear, and operate the accelerator (up to max. 10 km/h) and brake pedals. Parking Assist performs the necessary steering manoeuvres. In conjunction with an automatic transmission the vehicle will even brake independently. Active Parking Assist detects both parallel and end-on parking spaces. When parallel parking it also uses the steering angle to exit the space again later. The system deploys the sensors from the existing PARKTRONIC system with ultrasonic sensors at the front and rear. The driver views Active Parking Assist information on the cockpit display.
Unique in the mid-size van segment: distance warning function
Also known as Collision Prevention Assist, the Vito's distance warning function is unique in this segment. The aim is to prevent serious rear-end collisions. Consisting of the distance warning function and Adaptive Brake Assist, the system provides a warning when the distance from the vehicle in front is too short, escalating this to another level if there is an acute risk of collision.
The distance warning function on the new Vito is on standby from a speed of 7 km/h. A radar sensor in the front bumper continuously measures the distance from the vehicle in front in the same lane and the vehicles' relative speeds. The distance warning function also calculates the minimum distance required.
If the distance from the vehicle in front is too short over an extended time, a warning lamp lights up on the instrument cluster. A dynamic distance warning is triggered as soon as the vehicle starts to approach the vehicle in front at a high relative speed/acceleration. In this case an audible warning is issued in addition to the visual alert.
Additional Adaptive Brake Assist supports the driver in a critical braking situation. If the driver applies too little brake pressure, Adaptive Brake Assist automatically increases the pressure to a target level required to avoid an accident. The driver is able to override this intervention at any time by pressing the pedal more firmly. Intervention is aborted if the driver performs an evasive manoeuvre, removes their foot from the brake or uses the accelerator.
Blind Spot Assist – support when changing lanes
Whether changing lanes in town, performing extra-urban overtaking or merging and changing lanes on the motorway, van drivers need to make safety-related decisions in a matter of seconds. The new Vito benefits from large exterior mirrors with integral wide-angle sections on both sides of the vehicle. Blind Spot Assist is a new option which helps the driver when changing lanes by issuing a warning if there are other vehicles in their blind spot.
Blind Spot Assist becomes active from a speed of approx. 30 km/h. It utilises two near-range radar sensors in the rear bumper and covers the area to the left and right in adjacent lanes. If these sensors detect a car or motorcycle in the blind spot while driving, a red hazard warning triangle lights up in the relevant exterior mirror. If the assistance system detects that the driver has activated the indicator and wants to change lanes anyway, an audible warning is issued and the red warning symbol starts to flash.
Lane Keeping Assist: warning at the edge of the carriageway
Involuntary lane changes – such as when the driver is distracted – are an exceptionally dangerous action on the road. In the new Vito optional Lane Keeping Assist provides warnings in such cases.
The system involves complex technology. A camera inside the windscreen monitors the road surface ahead. An integral electronic control unit continuously analyses the captured data and recognises the lane and its markings through contrast comparison. If the van is threatening to cross the side markings without indicating or without a change in the accelerator or brake pedal positions, the control unit assumes that the vehicle is leaving the lane unintentionally and warns the driver by discreetly vibrating the steering wheel. The warning sensitivity may be set via the instrument cluster.
Lane Keeping Assist is active from a speed of 60 km/h. It responds to yellow markings in roadworks, as well as white lane markings. The driver may switch off this assistance system if desired.
Reverse warning alarm and reversing camera provide information during manoeuvres
Safety is also called for during manoeuvres. The reverse warning alarm audibly warns passers-by if the Vito is moving backwards. A reversing camera helps the driver perform the manoeuvre. Lines on the audio system's display show the likely vehicle position given the current steering angle. With the coupling zoom function, the camera zooms in on the ball head of the trailer coupling and assists the driver when a trailer is hitched up by displaying special extension lines.