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The 2018 S-Class will have Mercedes' best safety systems yet

We still have a long way to go to autonomy, but the extra peace of mind coming from the S-Class certainly won't hurt.

Since safety and semi-autonomous driving systems are now in vogue, it makes sense the refreshed 2018 S-Class would carry some updates to that end.

A majority of the systems might sound the same, but Mercedes beefed up the capabilities of its cameras and radar systems to look farther down the road and see things with greater clarity.

Its adaptive cruise control system, which follows both the lane markers and the cars ahead, can work in conjunction with the navigation system to prepare for upcoming slow-downs. It can decelerate for bends, tollbooths and roundabouts, and if the navigation system has a route entered, it can even slow down when approaching the correct highway exit.

None of these systems matter if you're on a freakin' runway, though.


Mercedes-Benz's system can also respond to changing speed limits. Not only can it take speed limit information built into the navigation system, but it's also capable of recognizing traffic signs and responding to them accordingly.

The S-Class can also automatically change lanes. Prior to the 2018 model year, owners needed to hold down the turn signal stalk through the entire lane change process, but now, all the car needs is a quick bump of the stalk to move over. It'll still wait until traffic is clear, but the driver won't need to worry about focusing on the stalk during that process.

Some drivers love seeing just how far they can push steering assist, but it's vital that the driver remain attentive and capable of taking control at a moment's notice. To that end, Mercedes-Benz added a system that will bring the car to a stop if the system detects that the driver is not capable of assuming control of the car. It will active the hazards, engage the parking brake and even unlock the doors in the event the driver is incapacitated.

If it's just a driver who lost focus for an extended period of time, taking control of the vehicle will cancel the shutdown process.

All the regular players are accounted for in the 2018 S-Class, as well. It'll warn you if a car enters your blind spot, apply the brakes on one side to prevent the car from veering into another lane, and it'll even apply extra steering effort to help the driver swerve around an obstacle. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class should be on sale later this year.