The evolution of Mercedes-Benz's experimental safety vehicles
When Mercedes-Benz produced its last safety demonstrator car back in 1974, it showcased exotic new technology like airbags, head restraints and seatbelt tensioners - things which have become almost ubiquitous on new cars 30 years down the track. So it's worth taking a good look at some of the wild and crazy innovations on Benz's ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle if you want to see where Mercedes thinks road safety is going in the next few decades. How about high-beam multi-zone headlights that intelligently dip only the LEDs shining directly at oncoming cars? Or inflatable metal structures that pop up for extra strength in a crash? What about a huge inflatable braking airbag that pops out under the car to provide a massive high-traction contact patch and doubles your braking power in an imminent crash? Amazing stuff, and there's more.