Mercedes-Benz Innovations

Mercedes-Benz Innovations

Karl Benz’s vision for the automobile didn’t just stop with the invention. It was in fact much greater. He had the idea of not only inventing it, but continually reinventing it. Many of the Mercedes-Benz safety firsts set the standard that all automobiles eventually follow.

His vision continues to live on today. Mercedes-Benz currently holds over 100,000 patents, and that number is continuously growing.

1886 Karl Benz is awarded German patent number 37435 for a 3 wheeled “Motorwagen”. Later to be dubbed the birth of the automobile.
1900 Mercedes 35 PS: First modern-design car, with aluminum engine, camshaft-driven inlet valves, honeycomb radiator, coil clutch, stamped steel frame, low center of gravity, impact-free steering and water-cooled brakes.
Ferdinand Porsche invents four-wheel drive using four electric motors,
one at each wheel.
1903 New high-performance engines with camshaft-driven overhead inlet valves in the Mercedes-Simplex 18/22 PS and Mercedes-Simplex 60 PS.
1905 DMG presents two major innovations in commercial vehicle design with a radiator positioned at the front end of the frame and cast steel wheels.
1906 First electric powered car.

Six-cylinder racing engine with machined steel cylinders and overhead camshaft with vertical shaft drive: provides inspiration for aeroengines and high-performance car engines
First Mercedes produced in America is delivered.

1907 DMG supplies the first petrol-engined fire-fighting vehicle in Germany.
Mercedes Dernburg Wagen with four wheel drive and four wheel steering.
1908 The Berlin fire service takes delivery of the first electrically powered fire-fighting convoy, consisting of four “Mercedes-Electrique” vehicles
1910 Mercedes-Benz introduces the multivalve engine known as the “Benz Prinz Heinrich Wagen.” It featured 4 valves and 2 spark plugs per cylinder.
1911 Mercedes 37/90 PS with three valves per cylinder and twin-spark ignition
1914 Mercedes 28/95 PS: production car with six-cylinder engine with machined steel cylinders and overhead camshaft with vertical shaft drive
1921 Mercedes introduces the first supercharged engine.
1923 Mercedes 6/25/40 PS and 10/40/65 PS: first supercharged production cars.
Accelerator pedal now with kick down switch.
1924 DMG presents the first diesel trucks with compressed air
injection at the Berlin Motor Show. Benz & Cie, presents the first
standard-production diesel truck in the world to feature the Benz-developed pre-chamber injection system. The 5K3 with a 4 cylinder 8.8 liter diesel engine developed up to 50 hp at 1000 rpm.
1925 Benz & Cie present low-frame buses.
1926 G1 four wheel drive vehicle with inline six cylinder engine
Merger between DMG and Benz & Cie.
1927 Mercedes-Benz L5: the first standard-production six-cylinder
diesel truck and the first volume-production diesel truck in the world.
1928 Mercedes produces an inline eight cylinder engine.
1930 Change-over to all-steel bus bodies at Mercedes-Benz.
1931 4 wheel independent suspension introduced.
1932 Presentation of Lo 2000 2-ton light truck, the first diesel-engined light truck in the world
1933 Fully independent suspension with double wishbone front suspension appeared on model 380.
1936 First diesel passenger car introduced the Mercedes Diesel wagon 260 D.
1939 Passenger car safety development…First experimental vehicle with strong side protection, rigid floor and three-part steering column.
1948 Electric power windows introduced.
1949 Patented safety conical-pin locks prevent doors from
jumping open in an accident.
The first Unimog, the Daimler-Benz-developed Universal-Motorgerät, is produced.
1951 Crumple zones patented.
1954 Single-joint swing axle in the Mercedes-Benz 220
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is the first standard-production vehicle
with fuel-injected four-stroke engine.
1956 L/LP 326: first Mercedes-Benz diesel truck developing 200 hp
1957 Daimler-Benz begins to install seat belts, first
introduced on airplanes.The Bilstein gas shock absorber world
premieres on a Mercedes-Benz.
1958 Mercedes-Benz begins a crash testing program.
Conical-pin door lock with two safety catches in production cars.
LP 333: cab-over-engine three-axle truck with two steered front axles
1959 First impact and roll-over tests complete.
Mercedes “tail-fin” models feature the first safety body in the
world, with integrated crumple zones.
1961 All Mercedes-Benz models now equipped as standard with
anchorage points for front seat belts.
Dual-circuit servo-assisted hydraulic brake system with disc
brake on front and rear wheels in the Mercedes-Benz 300SE.First shoulder belts
1963 Gated shifter is introduced.
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL: first sports car with safety body
1964 Switchover to direct injection diesels in the
commercial vehicle sector begins.
1966 Development of a systematic safety research strategy. The
terms “active safety” and “passive safety” are coined.
1967 Safety steering system comprising telescopic steering
column and steering wheel with impact absorber is now standard on all
1968 Presentation of Mercedes-Benz safety head restraint.
First static three-point seatbelt.First testing of airbag systems.
1969 Official founding of Mercedes-Benz accident research department and start of accident analysis.
Premiere of experimental electric bus OE 302, the first diesel electric hybrid bus.New LP 1632 commercial vehicle with first hydraulically tilting cab.
1971 ESV programme starts (ESV = Experimental Safety Vehicle).
ESV vehicles feature three-point inertia-reel seatbelts, belt force
limiters, belt tensioners and the first driver and passenger airbags.
Mercedes-Benz 350 SL featuring belt buckle fixed to the seat frame, four-spoke safety steering wheel and dirt-inhibiting side windows and rear lights.Fuel tank over rear axle and separated from passengers by steel
panel.Ribbed “anti-soil” rear lamps reduce dirt/debris build up.
1971 OG 305 experimental natural gas bus presented.
1972 First electric van LE 306 with replaceable battery presented.
OE 302 experimental electric bus goes into scheduled service in
Esslingen near Stuttgart.
1973 First Mercedes-Benz offset frontal crash test developed.
Three-point automatic seatbelts enter series production.Head restraints standard for the front seats.
First children’s restraint systems introduced.
1974 Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0: First production car with
five-cylinder engine.
Rear three pointed seat belts.
1975 Mercedes-Benz presents the first prototype with hydrogen
drive and hydride storage, based on an L 306 minibus.
Line-service trials of an OE 302 DUO bus for combined battery/overhead line operation.
1976 New safety steering system with corrugated tube in W 123 series.
1977 Mercedes-Benz 300 SD: first standard-production turbocharged
diesel passenger car.
Presentation of the O 305 standard-line service articulated pusher bus.
1978 Market launch of anti-lock braking system (ABS): World debut
in Mercedes-Benz S-class (116 series).
Offset crash with 40 per cent frontal overlap incorporated into the tough internal crash-test program.Presentation of the O-Bahn track-guided bus system, an alternative solution for local passenger transport.C111 diesel powered research car sets 9 world speed records.
1979 New S-class (W 126) with forked member front-end structure
is the first car in the world specially designed to withstand an offset collision.
Three-point seatbelts fitted as standard on the outer seats.Front shoulder belt-height adjustment premiered in the S-class.
1981 First driver airbag and seat belt tensioner in the S-class.
“Auto 2000” research car – Towards an economical, low-emission future.
MB presents the anti-lock braking system for commercial vehicles.
Presentation of the O 305 experimental bus with methanol drive.
1982 Multi-link independent rear suspension makes its world
debut in the Mercedes-Benz compact class (W 201).
1983 Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) in North America
1984 All Mercedes-Benz models now fitted with front belt tensioners and emergency tensioning retractors.
1985 Debut for 4MATIC (engageable four-wheel drive) ASD (automatic locking differential), and ASR (acceleration skid control).
Electronic powershift (EPS) fitted as standard on trucks
1986 Closed-loop three-way catalytic converters fitted as
standard on all petrol-engined Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
First headlamp wiper/washers for US models.ASR introduced for Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses.
1988 Introduction of decompression valve engine brake in
Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses.
1989 First seats with integrated seatbelts, first
automatically extending roll-over bar and first draught stop in
Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster.
Introduction of Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) engines for commercial vehicles.Automatic height adjustment for rear seatbelts in 124 series.
1991 CFC free climate control introduced.
The F100 research car introduces several new safety concepts.All-round disc brakes for heavy-duty commercial vehicles
introduced on Mercedes-Benz O 404 coach.
1992 Mercedes-Benz develops Controller Area Network (CAN).
All Mercedes-Benz models equipped as standard with driver
airbag and ABS.The one millionth Mercedes-Benz is fitted with airbag.First offset crash test with deformable barrier.G-force brake proportioning system is introduced on the S-Class.

Presentation of Euro 2 engines for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles.

1993 First integrated child seat optionally available for C-class.
First four-valve diesel engines for C-class and E-class available.
Catalytic converter fitted as standard on all Mercedes-Benz diesel cars.
1994 First rear-end crash test with deformable barrier.
Full front air bags standard on all Mercedes models in North America.NECAR (New Electric Car): first-generation fuel-cell prototype from Mercedes-Benz
1995 “Electronic Stability Program” (ESP) introduced on the S 600 coupe.
Side airbags are introduced.Disc brakes all round for Sprinter vans.Joystick gearshift in Vito vans.
1996 F 200 coupe study featuring “drive-by-wire” and “Keyless-Go” technology.
First vehicles equipped with Brake Assist (BAS), a world first.Door-mounted side air bags for driver and front passenger.PLD (pump/line/nozzle) high-pressure injection for commercial vehicle engines.CAN databuses and control systems for heavy-duty trucks.

First hybrid bus with electric wheel hub motors, traction battery and diesel engine.

Telligent level control introduced for commercial vehicles.

1997 SmartKey introduction.
New V6 and V8 engines with three valves per cylinder and twin-spark ignition.
Sidebags for driver and front fitted as standard throught the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range.BabySmart child seat detection system (1998 SLK roadster).A-class with sandwich floor and engine which slides down and underneath the passenger compartment in a frontal collision.New common-rail direct-injection (CDI) passenger car diesel engines.
NECAR 3 (based on the A-class): first fuel-cell prototype in the world with on-board hydrogen reformation.

Introduction of 4ETS permanent four wheel drive.

Introduction of modular design principle in bus manufacture to produce vehicles of different lengths.

Introduction of networked freely programmable CAN bus in bus manufacturing.

NEBUS: first fully operational fuel cell bus.

DynAPS navigation with dynamic traffic rerouting introduced.

1998 First window bags supplied as optional equipment for the E-class.
New S-class featuring 30 technical innovations. e.g. passenger airbag with two-stage deployment, rear belt tensioners and belt force
limiters, automatic child seat recognition (ACSR), air suspension with adaptive damping system (AIRmatic), COMAND operating/display system, and Brake Assist System.SUV crash compatibility is developed.
1999 CL coupe: first production vehicle in the world with Active Body Control (ABC).

Aerotwin wiper introduced on CL.

All Mercedes-Benz models standard-equipped with ESP.

Distronic autonomous intelligent cruise control goes into production.

Side curtain bags (E-Class sedans).

ZAS automatic cylinder cut-out introduced in S 600 and CL 600 for fuel savings.

CDI turbodiesel engines fitted in the van segment.

Joystick gearshift for coaches.

“Cito” midibus with standard diesel-electric drive.

First hybrid rear wheel drive concept shown at IAA.

2000 TeleAid (now mBrace) is introduced provided a suite of security, convenience and navigation features.
World’s most powerful passenger car turbodiesel fitted in the S 400 CDI.CL 55 AMG F1 Limited Edition is first road going vehicle with ceramic brakes.Smart front air bag, deploys in partial or full force, dependant on impact (S-Class).Telligent proximity control, Telligent stability control, Lane Assistant (Actros).

Sprintshift automated manual transmission for Sprinter vans.

New-generation Unimog with cab made of fibre composites, VarioPower high-performance hydraulics and VarioPilot transferable steering.

FleetBoard telematics-assisted Internet service introduced.

Window bags for vans.

2001 Sensotronic braking system (SBC) debuts in new SL.

Mercedes-Benz Unveils PRE-SAFE Occupant Safety Concept at IAA.
DriveBy InfoFueling Research car introduced at Comdex.

F400 Carving Concept car with 1.28 lateral g’s, 30% more than sports cars

2002 PRE-SAFE occupant safety system debuts on the S-Class.
SBC, Airmatic DC, multicontour seats, adaptive front airbags, dual stage belt force limiters, Easypack introduced with new E-Class.Milestone in the history of steering: steer-by-wire approved for Unimogs.Direct injection gasoline engines introduced, M271 four cylinder family.ESP on commercial vans up to 3.5 tons, and the 2003 Sprinter.

Scratch resistant clear coat paint system debuts.

M-Class diesel electric hybrid concept.

2003 World’s first seven speed automatic transmission “7G-Tronic” debuts.

Bi-Xenon active curve-illuminating headlamps; corner illuminating front foglamps.

F 500 Mind diesel electric Li-Ion hybrid concept shown in Tokyo.

Voice recognition expands to 3000 words including navigation address input.

2004 S-Class V6 gasoline NiMH electric hybrid was exhibited.

Adaptive shock absorber debuts on new A-Class and B-Class.

New twin cam four valve 3.5 liter M272 V6 introduced on new SLK.

Sprinter hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) delivery vans shown in Hannover.

2005 S400 Hybrid diesel electric two mode hybrid concept vehicle shown.

Active NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraint introduced.

BlueTec Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) debuts on the Actros.

Bionic Concept vehicle with Bluetec SCR shown in Washington DC.

STEER-CONTROL introduced on new A- and B-Class.

Vision SLK 320 CDI Triturbo shown in Geneva.

B-Class F-cell fuel cell vehicle introduced in Geneva.

PRE-SAFE occupant safety system debuts on a SUV, optional on M and R.

New V6 OM642 turbodiesel achieves FIA world record endurance drive.

Diesel particulate filters become standard on all passenger car diesels in 4 countries.

S350 Direct Hybrid and S320 Bluetec Hybrid shown at IAA.

COMAND clickwheel, Night Vision, and a twin cam 5.5 liter V8 debut on new S-Class.

AMG introduces 6.3 liter naturally aspirated V8.

Grand Sports Tourer R-class with 2+2+2 seats debuts.

F600 Hygenius fuel cell Li-Ion hybrid research vehicle shown in Tokyo.

2006 DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Brake introduced.
Bluetec clean diesel technology for passenger cars shown.
UHI/MHI modular handsfree communication system incl Bluetooth debuts.Spray-guided direct gasoline injection V6 introduced in Geneva.Full-size uni-body sport utility vehicle introduced (GL-Class).
2007 Vision GL420 Bluetec Power SUV study shown.

Twelve cylinder S600 cabriolet Ocean Drive concept revealed.

Mercedes introduces the Vision C220 Bluetec in Geneva.

smart cdi launches with 3.3 l/100 km as world’s most efficient production car.

Mercedes shows F700 luxury sedan research vehicle with DiesOtto hybrid.

2010 ATTENTION ASSIST introduced. Measures over 70 parameters while driving and can help detect signs of driver drowsiness.

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