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This is the first car ever with a rear seat airbag

Even before the new Mercedes-Benz S-class has been unveiled, it already goes into the history books. The new generation of the German top-of-the-range limousine, the production version of which only comes into existence in September, is the first car to ever have airbags in the back seat.

Mercedes-Benz reveals this remarkable detail of the luxury limousine, to warm up the general public before the arrival of the all-new generation S-class. The unveiling only takes place in September. Usually, such a teaser campaign consists of relatively meaningless photos of parts such as the headlights or part of the dashboard. Still, the new feature of the S-class is undoubtedly unique.

Mercedes still keeps the appearance of its most luxurious model a secret, but the drawings released by the brand include a safety system that we have not seen before.

A drawing of the rear seat airbag in the new Mercedes-Benz S class. This drawing also reveals what the nose of the new limo will look like.
©Daimler AG – A drawing of the rear seat airbag in the new Mercedes-Benz S class. This drawing also reveals what the nose of the new limo will look like.

The S-class gets airbags to protect the rear passengers in the event of a collision. Judging from the footage, the air pockets fold out of the front seat upholstery, preventing the rear occupants from bumping into harder parts of the interior.

The system automatically senses when there are child seats in the car, for example, in which case the airbags do not fold or partially unfold.

In combination with the curtain airbags and airbags that pop out of the seat belt (the latter also only exists in this super-deluxe segment), the ‘rear bags’ must form a protective cocoon around the passengers in the back seat.

 This study model already shows the space in the back seat of the new S-class, in addition to the new multimedia screens
©Daimler AG – This study model already shows the space in the back seat of the new S-class, in addition to the new multimedia screens

The air cushions also protect them in the seat upholstery: they are generally in an S-class for the chair massage, but the latest version of the limousine can inflate the outer air cushions at lightning speed during a crash. Even before the occupants realize it, they are pushed a little further into the car by that system, which reduces the risk of serious injury in the event of a collision.

Protective air suspension

The fact that safety systems in cars are getting smarter is also evident from the system that Mercedes calls ‘Pre-Safe Impulse Side System’. This is also new to the upcoming S-class.

As soon as the sensors in the car expect the S-class to be involved in a collision, the car can pump up its air suspension a little bit in just a few milliseconds.

This increases the chance that the car colliding with the S-class will mainly hit the strongest parts of the safety cage in the Mercedes. This way, the impact energy is better absorbed, and the occupants again have less chance of injury.

Mercedes-Benz reveals the exact functioning of the advanced safety systems at the full unveiling of the new S-class, which is therefore planned for later this year.

After that, it is expected that the amenities will find their way to the smaller and cheaper models of the brand, and perhaps even to models from other manufacturers. It was the same with other systems that made their debut in the luxury flagship of Mercedes, such as the ABS braking system that prevents blocking wheels. That was first in an S-class and is now mandatory in every new car.

This part Mercedes also revealed: the new S-class gets a large 'standing' screen in the dashboard, much like in the Tesla Model S.
©Daimler AG – This part Mercedes also revealed: the new S-class gets a large ‘standing’ screen in the dashboard, much like in the Tesla Model S.

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