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Innovation: It's at the Heart of Mercedes-Benz

Last updated 4 years ago

While Mercedes-Benz is now known as one of the world’s leading luxury auto makers, they should also be known as one of the most innovative car companies on the planet. Mercedes-Benz automotive breakthroughs include the first car, supercharged engine, independent suspension, and a host of safety features.

Here is a look at some of the leading innovations to come from Mercedes-Benz through the years:

The First Car

A little-known fact is that Carl Benz designed the first self-propelled “Motorwagen” in 1894. Benz received a patent for this three-wheeled vehicle and its single-cylinder engine. The Motorwagen is the innovation that paved the way for so many other automobile industry firsts. In 1906, Benz created the first electric-powered model as well. By 1921, the company added valves and a compressor to the engine, essentially “supercharging” it.

Independent Suspension

Ten years later, the Mercedes 170 debuted with the first fully-independent four-wheel suspension. This was the first vehicle that allowed each wheel to respond to road conditions separately, a safety and performance breakthrough that quickly became standard in the automotive industry. This independent suspension system gave birth to the Advanced Body Control (ABC) and Agility Control features Mercedes-Benz owners enjoy today.

Modern Safety Innovations

Mercedes-Benz released its first cars featuring Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) in 1978. ABS allows the driver to retain control of the steering wheel during periods of hard braking. 2002 saw the release of PRE-SAFE, an advanced system that identifies possible collisions and adjusts seat belts and head restraints accordingly. And in 2010, Mercedes-Benz unveiled ATTENTION ASSIST, a feature which assesses the driver’s level of drowsiness and alerts him or her to stop driving and get some rest.

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