By on July 13, 2015

E Class

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class can basically drive itself. But if you prefer to pilot the car yourself, and you happen to get into a crash, the 2017 E-Class will pump static into the cabin to save your ears.

As Wired reports, the new E-Class will be equipped with what Mercedes-Benz is calling “PRE-SAFE Sound” to play a 85-db noise to coax the ear into protecting itself.

According to the automaker, the system works by triggering the stapedius reflex, which is the constriction of muscles around the eardrums, and is a natural reaction to loud noise. By playing the sound before the collision, Mercedes-Benz says, the E-Class could potentially lessen hearing damage.

The sound safety system is part of a slew of technology Mercedes-Benz is stuffing into the E-Class. Also included is the similarly named “PRE-SAFE impulse side” collision system that “nudges” driver and passenger toward the center of the car during a side collision with airbags that inflate upon impact.

Mercedes-Benz said the side-collision system is an option for the E-Class. It’s unclear if the noise safety system is standard.

The automaker also said the E-Class owners would be able to park the new E-Class while outside the car by using an app, but the system won’t be available in the United States when the fifth-generation car launches.

The automated parking system works somewhat like the Batmobile. We live in exciting times.

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41 Comments on “New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Will Play Loud Noise Before Crash to Save Eardrums...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    So when all that assist stuff fails the car just yells “SH!!!!T”?

  • avatar
    twotone

    When I die, I want to go quietly in my sleep like my grandfather; not screaming like the passengers in his car.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    They’ve given us Tiptronic, Distronic, and now Histrionic.

  • avatar
    beastpilot

    This is going to lead to some very odd PTSD reactions to static noise for people that have been in a crash in one of these cars.

  • avatar
    Car-los

    “The automated parking system works somewhat like the Batmobile. We live in exciting times.”

    Personally, the more computerize cars are the less exiting driving seems to me.

    The end of an era. I’ll just have to have more sex…to compensate I mean…

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Given my experience with the electronics of my 2011 Benz, that system should work well for around a month or so.

    Germany and electrical engineering do not play well together.

  • avatar

    Automakers have all kinds of advanced safety technology they incorporate into their cars. Some of it becomes mainstream; some of it does not. I wonder how effective GM’s front-center airbags on the Lambda vehicles have been…

  • avatar
    jayzwhiterabbit

    This nanny stuff is really out of control (no pun intended). Jesus god, all this crap is not going to save you from a truly horrific wreck. I think it all just gives people a false feeling of safety and the impression that they don’t have to drive with caution anymore. Give me seatbelts, airbags, and stability control and I’m happy. Not so much electric insanity to go wrong.

    J

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      I agree that these features are unnecessary. The problem however is that a Hyundai is now as well equipped as a Mercedes. How do you then charge more? You add over the top features that no one really needs. Your neighbor’s Kia doesn’t have these, so that makes the Merc special right…?

      • 0 avatar
        jayzwhiterabbit

        Exactly. What is unfortunate is that as the entire industry adds all this new tech that trickles down from the luxury makers, it just drives up the prices of all new cars. A shame. I think that’s one of the reasons cheap compact cars are appealing to me. Simplicity!!

        James

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      The airbag and the esp originate from benz. Why stop innovating when it comes to safety? People thought padded dashes and airbags were “nanny crap” as well.

      • 0 avatar
        jayzwhiterabbit

        Know your history. The first airbag patent was granted to an American engineer, and the first production was by GM.

        I think innovation is fine, but it also drives up car prices catastrophically. An airbag is very different than encouraging people not to use their mirrors before changing lanes. And airbags and esc are proven to save lives. The same cannot be said for nanny bells going off because you are too busy with the navigation or talking on your iphone.

        At least now you can opt out of most of the nanny options, but eventually they will probably become standard which in turn radically drives up costs of production to be reflected in window sticker. Ridiculous. If you know how to drive properly, you don’t need most of them. Not to mention that they cause very new cars to total out with very little actual damage. That is classic with cars with 15 airbags like most have today. That is also going to happen when electrical systems powering the nanny components fail early in the life of the car. Which is why you can buy a well-used Jag or German car for pennies on the dollar ten years later.

        But, as stated above, when a Hyundai can match most of the technology of a German car then the German makers have to start trumping elsewhere.

        And what happens when these systems fail to work properly and the uber-complacent drivers cannot depend on them. Or the software just takes over, ala past experiences of runaway acceleration. These incidents may be rare, but when they do happen the result is ugly.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Cars have never been cheaper in terms of hours of work to buy and in terms of $ per mile of usefull life. Where on Earth are you getting this catastrophic increase nonsense?

          • 0 avatar
            jayzwhiterabbit

            That’s untrue. The average worker makes only a tiny amount higher than the average worker in 1970, dollars adjusted. This is a statistic that is accepted by economists. So then explain to me how the cost of a new car in 1970 is at all comparable in terms of affordability to any car out there now. Your argument is asinine and is not based on facts. It is based on faulty information and emotion. I’m sorry for the fact that you are wrong, but getting your feelings hurt is not my concern.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            Not based on facts?

            http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jimhenry/files/2012/05/Comerica-Affordability-Index3.jpg

            Let’s see your facts.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          Actually, adjusted for inflation, cars are as cheap as they’ve ever been. That means that when you adjust for content (compare what cars came with in the 80s compared to now), they’re a screaming bargain.

          And since the article is about Mercedes: a 300E in the early 90s went for around $40,000, unadjusted. What does a C300, which is bigger, more powerful, has far more safety features and entertainment tech cost in 2015 dollars? $38,000.

          Tell me again how cars have become catastrophically expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            They have become catastrophically ugly! That 300E was a beauty. Nobody’s ever gonna say that in 20 years about the C300.

            Question for older peeps: Back in let’s say 1988. Were people saying “Oh these new cars are ugly, I can’t believe the new Taurus is so round, the 300E looks cheap, etc.” or did you all like those cars back then?

            Just trying to see if every time period hates it’s cars looks as much as we hate them now.

          • 0 avatar
            Numbers_Matching

            That’s what i was thinking…if MB had continued the price trajectory from where they were in the 80’s, most of their line-up, inlcuding the bread and butter stuff, would be over 100K.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            CoreyDL,

            I can’t say specifically about the 300E – I get the impression that it was well regarded for its era, and I agree that it’s aged nicely, and it came from a time when Mercedes had the luxury (ie: charged exorbitant amounts of money for their cars) to have workers comb through their cars once they reached the end of the assembly line and make sure that everything was perfect, even though Lexus still murdered them when it came to reliability once they hit the scene.

            But in the early-to-mid-nineties, when I was a little kid, I remember that complaining about how round and generic cars looked was all the rage. “They all look the same now” was muttered from front porch rocking chairs all over the place (and yet, somehow, the badge-engineered crap from the 70s and 80s got a pass).

            Complaining about “cars these days” is just as universal as complaining about the children, I think.

            On the C300: personally I find it far more upscale-looking than the mid-nineties C-Class offerings. Even when new, I thought they looked cut-rate, and both the styling and the cars themselves have aged terribly. On the other hand, the main thing that bugs me about the new C is that the turn signals are needlessly red. We’ll see how I feel about it in 20 years.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ha thanks, good to know people never change. And while I think cars look very similar now, the late 80s and 90s cars didn’t, to my eyes. Go back to the 40’s, everything then was the same post-war shape!

            I kind of liked the initial C-Class, before it got the round headlamps. In 1995, it just looked like a conservative, smaller S320. Once it morphed into the rounded one with the quad headlamps, and the C280 Coupe existed, it was all over for me.

            And I prefer amber turn blinkers as well. Always have, so it’s a shame the Germans are using red for the time being. (Though Audi used red longer and more frequently than the others.)

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    Wouldn’t you hate to be the first customer that has to drive one of these cars back to the dealer because the “PRE-SAFE Sound” has failed and is playing an 85-db static noise in the cabin?

    Hopefully it’s a full stereo signal with a lot of bass thump.

    • 0 avatar
      jayzwhiterabbit

      Given this manufacturer’s electrical quality, I think a lot of people are going to have their eardrums popped by the very system designed to protect them.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’d just like them to make something that makes a loud noise when the driver is mashing their gas pedal, from a dead stop, while headed straight for a building (or interior wall of their garage…) less than twenty feet away. The loud noise could be in the form of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?” along with automatically taking a video and uploading it to the internet for my and the general public’s enjoyment.

    Toyota, are you listening to my idea?

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    The photo forgot to caption this car is in Stealth Mode, the safety feature that puts on paint camouflage and turns off all exterior lighting so you don’t startle the deer, pedestrians, and cars in front of you at night.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I will request that my dealer change the alert before crash sound, to Peter Griffin laughing.

  • avatar
    PaulE

    Mercedes needs to have an optional Wilhelm Scream in the menu of pre-crash noises.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The car makes 85 db noise before a crash? I thought that is what my wife was for! ;)

  • avatar
    Czilla9000

    I’d prefer the Hunt For Red October’s “T minus 1 to impact, Captain!” with sonar pings noise.

    I think the sound will be “Remember to buy Mercedes for your next car. This one is about to save your life.”

  • avatar
    jose carlos

    Isn’t this, from the driver’s point of view like riding a bus? It looks I am on my last E class.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Yet another electronic device to fail on a Benz. MB should be focusing on resolving current electronic mayhem before introducing more possibilities for failures.

  • avatar
    415s30

    It will be interesting when that malfunctions. All these new cars can’t be kept forever, so many electronics to die slow glitchy deaths.


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