From August 1967, all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars were equipped as standard with a then-new safety steering system including impact absorber.
These are two of numerous key modules of the Stuttgart-based brand in the holistic development of vehicle safety. The automaker’s other safety innovations include the conical-pin safety door lock, which was patented in 1949, and the retractable Mercedes star from 1957, as well as fundamental concepts such as the safety body with crumple zones (1959), anti-lock braking system or ABS (1978), airbag (1981) and Electronic Stability Program or ESP (1995).
The quest for increased safety for driver, passengers and all other road users is a key theme in the brand history of Mercedes-Benz. This vision has always been realised in an ongoing process of safety development. The result is a host of innovations that set standards for the entire automotive industry.
With the goal of vehicle safety becoming ever more complex, since the 1960s engineers and researchers have made a distinction between active safety (driving safety, physiological safety and operational safety) and passive safety (interior and exterior safety).
A key element in the long history of safety development at Mercedes-Benz is the safety steering system with telescopic steering column and impact absorber. It was introduced as standard 50 years ago – in August 1967 – for all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
It comprises two innovative components that reduce the specific risks to the driver in the event of a collision – in the event of a frontal collision, the telescopic steering column, consisting of several parts, collapses so that it does not penetrate into the interior of the vehicle, while the additional impact absorber in the centre of the steering wheel is designed to absorb and reduce the kinetic energy when the driver is thrown against it in a crash.
The development of the Mercedes-Benz safety steering system dates back to a first patent granted in 1954.
Read about the Mercedes-Benz safety demo at Jalan Penjara.
This columnist believes in a more holistic approach to improving road safety.