Daimler sells vehicles and services in almost every country in the world and has production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. The brand portfolio includes, in addition to Mercedes Benz, the most valuable premium automotive brand in the world, as well as Mercedes AMG and Mercedes Maybach, the brands smart, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, FUSO, Setra and Thomas Built Buses and the brands of Daimler Financial Services: Mercedes Benz Bank, Mercedes Benz Financial, Daimler Truck Financial, moovel, car2go and mytaxi car2go. In 2015, the group sold more than 2.95 million vehicles with 284.015 279.972 employees. Revenues amounted to 1429.95 billion €, while the EBIT amounted to 103.82 billion €.
The research work in the field of automated driving goes back to the PROMETHEUS project. At the closing presentation, the Daimler experimental vehicle drove in the highly-automated mode, for long distances in public traffic, independently scheduling the changing of lanes and implementing these upon approval. Already in the BMBF Project MOTIV, Daimler has undertaken studies regarding the acceptance of highly-automated driving. The world's first radar-based emergency braking system, implemented by Daimler AG, enabled vehicles to react to stationary obstacles. At the IAA 2011, the “Advanced Driving Assist” was presented (F125 demo car). The Advanced Driving Assist allows independent driving and safe lane changes, on multi-lane roads with similar traffic and, at a later expansion stage, also overhauls.
With the “Intelligent Drive” system, introduced in 2013 for the S Class, equipped for the first time with a stereo camera, Daimler has installed, in addition to the radar sensor, a second important sensor for the environmental detection in the series. Therefore, sensory redundancy is already being created in modern vehicles, representing an essential pre-requisite for highly-automated driving. The DISTRONIC distance pilot in many Mercedes Benz vehicles is already considered as belonging to the partially automated driving. With the new E Class, Mercedes Benz is taking the next step towards automated driving, with the “Intelligent Drive next Level” system. It can drive on all street types, partly automated and parks in narrow parking spaces and garages with a smartphone app, externally controlled. It can help in more situations with the warning or even automated braking, to reduce hazards and supports the driver when changing lanes, for example, when overhauling on multi-lane roads. Furthermore, with the car to-X communication, it warns about potential dangers in advance. The first series applications of “Intelligent Drive” is the DISTRONIC PLUS cruise control system, with a steering assistant as Stop & Go-Pilot in the new Mercedes Benz S and E class, as well as the BAS PLUS braking support with the intersection assistant. Thanks to the all-round view, the partially automated driving is made possible in dense traffic.
With the research vehicle Mercedes Benz S500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE with a route pilot, Daimler has undertaken, 125 years after Bertha Benz, a pioneer voyage again, and is the first manufacturer with production-based sensors to drive independently, 100 km of intercity and urban traffic. The route pilot in the Mercedes Benz 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE is a technology experiment and serves to the analysis of requirements and technologies for later highly, respectively fully automated driving functions. Here, experiences for further technical developments were gathered, in order to be able to drive independently off the motorway and to be able to record highly complex traffic situations in the urban transportation, such as the detection of traffic light phases or the thoroughfare of roundabouts. Furthermore, with this project, the first experiences with the implementation of a highly-precise HAF map were also gathered.
Within PEGASUS, Daimler is involved in the following focal points: analysis of accident data, assessment of mechanical controllability of critical traffic situations based on the experience with previous systems and in comparison to the human performance capability, derivation of quality measures for highly-automated driving functions (focus on the first time use of the highway chauffeur, but also the derivation of statements for the further use cases of the highly automated driving).
Daimler coordinates the third subproject and will undertake the following tasks: identification of the scenarios that are especially critical for the practical implementation; development of a clear argumentation for the test coverage; determination of the validation needs for simulations at the testing sites; realistic design of the scenario detailing and compliance of the applicability limits for the testing equipment; implementation and testing of sensory models adequate for the safeguarding of the system. Moreover, Daimler provides cross-country crash targets and precise, coordinated driving test vehicles and a testing environment, in order to simulate reproducible traffic situations at the testing sites with other partners, with which simulations can be verified and relevant situations from the field trial can be adjusted. In addition, Daimler contributes to the OEM-comprehensive collection of relevant situations and coordinates the creation of a guideline for the field safeguarding. In the fourth subproject, Daimler introduces the specially identified relevant scenarios as suggestion for reference scenarios. The validation of the reference scenarios by the means of field testing will be ensured.