Mercedes Car-to-X Communication Spells The End Of Buckled Wheels

Technology / Comments

New features now include pothole and speed bump detection.

Car-to-X Communication is a pretty clever feature that makes driving both safer and more convenient. It's currently available on the Audi e-tron GT and Volkswagen is using it to help charge future EVs too. Audi is working on new innovations with the tech to help prevent drivers from losing control on slippery surfaces, but it's Mercedes-Benz that has promoted Car-to-X Communication the most. So it shouldn't be surprising to learn that Mercedes is further evolving the system, adding a new feature that allows the technology to detect both speed bumps and potholes and alert drivers who haven't yet reached the hazard. This makes it easier for drivers to avoid obstacles that could cause damage or, worse still, an accident.

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This tech is not limited to new cars, although it debuts on the C-Class, the S-Class, and the EQS. Merc says that almost three million passenger cars produced in 2016 or later can get the update, but how does it work? Well, those newer cars that debut the tech will be able to detect these obstacles, so if their chassis control units detect such an "event" with the Car-to-X system activated, the information goes to the Mercedes-Benz cloud in real-time via the mobile phone network. Other Mercedes passenger cars in the vicinity are informed and these obstacles are displayed on the navigation map with icons. In addition, an audible warning is given and the icon is visually highlighted roughly ten seconds before the relevant lane section is reached.

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Basically, newer cars with Car-to-X activated can detect speed bumps and potholes and all 2016 and newer Mercedes passenger vehicles are informed with a vocal warning saying "Traffic event ahead". In the aforementioned C-Class, S-Class, and EQS, this warning changes to "Look out, pothole!" or "Attention, speed bump".

With the system being honed on 30 different test and trial tracks at the Immendingen Test and Technology Center in Germany, it should work exceptionally well. These new alerts are now available in selected markets and in all 36 languages currently supported by the infotainment system. With the addition of pothole and speed bump detection, there are now 12 different Car-to-X warnings for Mercedes vehicles. Expect more to be added as time goes on.

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