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World first - adaptive headlamps available for first time on new Mercedes Benz E-Class

1 May 2006

The new E-Class Mercedes Benz sets pioneering technological trends with its new Intelligent Light System by becoming the first car in the world to offer adaptive headlamps.

Developed by the lighting specialists at Hella, adaptive headlamps adjust to different driving and weather situations and thereby offer significant improvements for driving safety.

The Intelligent Light System, which is available as an option for the sedan and the T-model, is based on the powerful Bi-Xenon headlamps and includes five different lighting functions – country, motorway, active bend lighting, fog and cornering.

The new country light illuminates the left-hand edge of the road brighter and over a greater range than the previous low beam. Here, the visual range of the driver is extended by around ten meters; he or she can therefore recognize other road-users or obstacles earlier in the dark.

In the case of motorway light, this switches on automatically from a speed of 55 mph and a uniform light cone is produced which stretches up to 120 meters and which illuminates the entire width of the road. In the centre of this light cone, the driver can see around 50 meters further than previously possible. Thanks to the extended fog light, which is also part of the new Intelligent Light System, Mercedes-Benz has improved orientation in fog and reduced self-dazzling due to light reflected by the fog.

Another component of the Intelligent Light System is the cornering light, which increases safety at intersections and when driving slowly through bends. Here, the active bend lighting, which Mercedes-Benz offered for the first in the E-Class in spring 2003, has also been developed and further improved.

In terms of technology, the Intelligent Light System is based on the VarioX module from Hella. This is a projector-type system with an HID lamp, and is a system in which the standard bulb shield for the classic cut-off line of the low beam is replaced by a free-form drum. Several precisely calculated contours for the different light distributions are integrated on its surface shell. The command to provide the differing light distributions is sent by the intelligent control electronics to a small electric motor. Within fractions of a second, the corresponding contour rotates on the drum into the beam path and changes the light distribution. The swivelling bearing of the module guarantees it works perfectly for all light distributions.

See the Mercedes website for more details.

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