Mercedes-Benz Chairman Ola Källenius revealed the seventh-generation S-Class sedan, new for 2021, describing it as the most technically advanced car Daimler have ever brought to series production.
The exterior shows an evolutionary redesign with slimmer headlamps and taillamps. The headlamps characterise the front aspect of the car. They have the three-point DRL signature typical of the S-Class, but the DRL array is flatter and somewhat smaller overall. The previously optional Multibeam LED headlamp system is now standard equipment; a light module with 84 LEDs arranged in three lines creates the matrix grid.
The optional Digital Light system enters series production for the first time, allowing completely new functions like projection of guidelines or warning symbols onto the road ahead.
In each headlamp, Digital Light has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs whose light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors; together all of them occupy the same area as a thumbnail. A control unit with a powerful graphics processor uses an HDMI-like connection to generate a continuous video stream to the mirrors—this is video projector technology brought into the automotive realm.
This innovative headlamp in the S-Class can be recognised by its concave lens and shining blue floor facing. The beam composed of 1.3 million pixels makes absolutely precise light distribution possible. It makes the ADB over 100 times more precise than the 84-pixel light when excluding oncoming traffic or road signs from the light beam. Light/shadow graduations and the light distribution of all the other adaptive light functions are also realised with considerably more precision, optimising illumination for whatever traffic, road, and weather conditions might present.
Several new lighting functions
With the help of intelligent front headlights that play a black and white video, much like a movie projector, the S-Class can display the likes of:
• symbols on the road
• Images to alert the driver to a construction site in darkness and warn of recognised roadworks by projecting an excavator symbol onto the road surface
• Illumination and driver-attention guidelines on a pedestrian detected on the side of the road to mitigate the hazard
• Traffic lights, stop signs, no-entry signs, and other suchlike are pointed out by projecting a warning symbol onto the road surface
• Red flashes in the door panel to warn the exiting occupant and prevent cyclists being “doored”
The ambient lighting has 250 LED light sources. The contour lighting in the instrument and door panels form a continuous line as brand identifier of the S-Class interior. The contour lighting below the overhead and the center console and below decor trims and armrests create floating effects of the components and amplify the styling language of the interior. The illuminated loudspeaker grills underline their claim for high quality. The dynamic ambient lighting in the door panels is flickering as soon as traffic approaches from behind when getting out.
These new lighting functions, exterior and interior, are analysed in technical and market detail in the new DVN Study just released.