6 New Tech Features on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

From remote parking to smartphone keys.

Though we won't see the redesigned 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for a few more months, Mercedes-Benz is sharing some technical information on its new midsize luxury sedan ahead of its official debut. The flagship S-Class is typically known for its forward-thinking technological innovations, but this fifth-generation E-Class looks to pack plenty of technology of its own, with new features that build upon Mercedes-Benz's existing semi-autonomous technologies and safety features.

Stay tuned for more information to come about the 2017 E-Class, and check out six of the most interesting new technology features on this new luxury sedan.

Car-to-X Communication

We've been hearing about inter-car communication for years now, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents the first fully integrated "Car-to-X" communications system in production. This means that the car can communicate with other vehicles through the use of smartphones. This means the driver can receive a message about an obstacle ahead from a car further ahead on the road. This can occur either through manual reporting on the part of the driver, or automatic detection using existing vehicle sensors like cameras and radars.

Smartphone as a Key

Thanks to Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, 2017 E-Class owners can use their smartphone as a proximity key. As long as the smartphone has a secure SIM card and NFC capability, it can be used instead of the car's standard proximity key. Putting the smartphone near the driver's door handle unlocks the door, and having the smartphone in the car's interior means that you can activate the car's push-button start system.

Collision Sound Mitigation

A new "Pre-Safe Sound" feature attempts to minimize the noise of a crash. By emitting a short interference signal through the sound system in the risk of a crash, the Mercedes-Benz system triggers a reflex within the inner ear to better prepare occupants for the noise. Mercedes says this counteracting feature can reduce the risk of hearing damage.

Side-impact occupant protection

Another element of the enhanced Pre-Safe system is the ability to "nudge" occupants away from a collision in the event of a side-impact crash. If the car senses an imminent side collision, air chambers in the seat bolsters inflate to move occupants toward the side of the car not affected in the collision. Mercedes says this can reduce injuries by helping take some of the load of the impact off the passengers' rib cages.

Remote Parking

Like BMW introduced on its 2016 7 Series, the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class can park itself remotely with a smartphone app. The app connects to the car via Bluetooth, and the driver can then control the car's park assist function from outside the car. This means that the car can remotely maneuver into a tight space without having to open the doors to let the driver out, and can then maneuver back out of the space when the driver is ready to leave. The system can operate for either perpendicular or parallel parking spaces, and can even move the car up to 10 meters forward or backward so that the driver can remotely control the car into a garage, for instance.

High-resolution LED headlights

LED headlights are nothing new, but the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class features an advanced LED lighting system with a grid of 84 LEDs in each headlight. This new system provides more precise beams of light, and can adapt to traffic and road conditions by adjusting each individual bulb to change the width of the light distribution or the brightness of the light grid.

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