ALZENAU, Germany -- Continental will begin production of an automatic-braking and pedestrian-detection system for Mercedes-Benz early next year.
The system will be the first unit offered by a major automaker in Europe to use a stereo camera to detect and prevent impacts with pedestrians and other obstacles on the road.
The camera will be integrated with a radar system that will offer collision detection of up to 200 meters.
The camera has a shorter object detection range of 35 meters compared with the radar, but its better object recognition allows it to identify and evaluate possible risks with more certainty, avoiding unnecessary intervention of the system for objects such as small animals. The two elements will work in tandem, with the radar identifying hazards and the camera evaluating them.
The system will has a feature called Emergency Steer Assist (ESA) that automatically steers the car around pedestrians when it calculates there is insufficient distance to bring the car to a standstill without hitting them.
The system also has Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) that brakes automatically at speeds of up to 70 km/h (44 mph) when there is an obstacle in the car's path.
A source at Continental told Automotive News Europe that Mercedes would offer the unit as an optional feature on high-end models. Mercedes will debut a new generation of its S-class flagship sedan next year.