25 years of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: A pioneer of safety for a quarter of a century: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
In 1995 Mercedes-Benz presented a newly developed van that quickly advanced to become the reference model, characterising an entire vehicle category. From the start of its development it was clear that both active and passive safety would be central components of the vehicle concept. Thus, now in its third generation, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter continues to consistently raise the bar for other vans.
1995: even the very first Sprinter has extensive safety technology
In 1995 no other van offers more safety features. The package includes disk brakes all-around, an ABS anti-lock braking system as standard, automatic brake differential, a driver airbag on request, three-point seat belts adjustable in height and seat belt buckles attached to the seat.
The driver airbag is now included in the standard equipment while a co-driver airbag is optionally available. The double airbag is particularly large and also protects the passenger occupying the inner seat of a co-driver bench seat. The next safety feature is introduced in 2001: windowbags are now also available.
In 2002 the Sprinter sets the benchmark yet again with ESP® installed as standard
New features include a more powerful brake booster and the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, installed as standard initially in the closed variant of the Sprinter up to a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 t. Two years later ESP® is included in the standard equipment of all Sprinter chassis up to a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 t. Just one year later, the "Van Training on Tour" complements technical aspects with driver instruction.
The second generation Sprinter from 2006: safer than ever with ADAPTIVE ESP®
Consistent introduction of innovations continues; this is emphasised by the completely new second-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in 2006. This new generation does not only boast a significantly increased cargo capacity – a GFRP transverse leaf spring at the front axle and new parabolic springs at the rear axle, soon complemented by an optional air suspension, improve both comfort and safety.
As ADAPTIVE ESP® the system now adapts to various loading conditions thanks to mass and centre of gravity detection and thus control is more precise and specific in critical driving situations.
2013: new Sprinter with revolutionary driver assistance systems
In the summer of 2013 the new Sprinter also brings new driver assistance systems – some of them world premieres for vans. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST comprises the functions distance warning, adaptive braking assistance system Brake Assist Pro and a further warning stage in the event of an acute risk of collision. Blind Spot Assist warns drivers of vehicles in the neighbouring lane or in the so-called blind spot when changing lanes. Lane Keeping Assist warns the driver about leaving the lane inadvertently by monitoring the roadway ahead and its markings. High Beam Assist ensures that the lane is optimally illuminated with situative activation and deactivation of the main beam headlamps.
2018: the third generation of the Sprinter further increases safety
Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, for example, can relieve the driver by automatically maintaining sufficient distance to the vehicle ahead from a speed of 20 km/h. The system detects lane changes or braking manoeuvres of other road users and can react immediately – in an emergency the active distance warning assistance system can brake the Sprinter to a standstill.
Other driver assistance systems introduced to the new Sprinter include a reversing camera with an image in the inside rearview mirror and a modern parking package with 360-degree all-around visibility. A rain sensor and wipers with integrated Wet Wiper System provide for optimum visibility even when the windscreen is being cleaned.
Prevention is better than cure
Since 1995 the following applies for the development of the Sprinter: prevention is better than cure; accident prevention is better than mitigating their consequences. The Sprinter benefits both from its passenger-car-like driving style and the development of driver assistance systems for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
Oct 13, 2020 at 08:35