Tag Archives: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes AMG developing an autonomous car for the race track

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The Mercedes-Benz high-performance division, AMG, has been innovating the sport/race industry in the automotive world since its beginnings. Creating the most hardcore versions of, almost all, Mercedes models, setting the best lap times around famous German racetracks – Nurburgring Nordschleife and others, and pushing the boundaries of how fast the road-legal cars can go. They have enabled us with a lot of amazing technologies, that all of the other manufacturers use for their sports cars as well.

The EQS model. Picture from: https://newsbeezer.com/swedeneng/the-mercedes-eqs-electric-car-can-now-drive-itself-on-certain-roads-in-germany/

And this time, it’s no different. Mercedes-Benz is on a crusade to fight the self-driving cars with Tesla and others, with a lot of success. Their newest electric model called EQS has been approved to drive completely on itself on certain roads at speeds below 60 km/h. A major breakthrough for the autonomous technology and car industry, and a great way for them to collect valuable data. So there is that.

Mercedes-AMG allows self-driving GT 4-door Coupe to relax on the road -  News7h
The self-driving AMG car. Picture from: https://news7h.com/mercedes-amg-allows-self-driving-gt-4-door-coupe-to-relax-on-the-road/

However, the AMG division wanted to get their hands on it and develop something on self-driving technology. As their main goal is to maximize race track performance, they decided to develop a car that will be able to do stuff out of a video game. Imagine, how many hours you have spent racing against AI in games like Forza or Gran Turismo. This could be the same situation. The car can accelerate, brake and steer itself following the most optimal line through the course without the help or interaction from any of the car’s occupants. In the video released by the AMG youtube channel, there is a racing driver present in the driver’s seat, however, they say that the car can be completely empty and still do that.

From the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA6SvyJSGpI&t=824s

It uses a lot of GPS trackers to have the car’s exact position at all times in real-time, processes it through a powerful computer located in the trunk of the car which then decides on the output and performs, as said before – steering, braking, accelerating by itself. The car is limited to “only” 170 km/h, as the engineers say they do not want to go fast on the straights (as it is pretty easy) but teach the car the fastest way around the corners.

Obviously, it’s all in a controlled environment thought on a very specific track for a long time and is meant to create more buzz around the Mercedes’ self-driving tech. I see two sides to this story. One, it’s created to help drivers learn the best possible line through the track. In this sense, it’s going to be very useful, if there are no other cars on the track which could be endangered by it. The second one is that it’s totally useless, as we will not race as in video games, against AI drivers for fun. Also, it’s, hopefully, not going to be used for races only with autonomous cars, as it’s going to be boring and the ethical part could easily be questioned.

FYI, Croatian startup-car-manufacturer Rimac Automobili also will try to do something very similar with their newest electric car called the Nevera.

I am really looking forward to your opinions on this topic. Do you also feel it’s boring or do you think it’s cool? Let me know in the comment section down below.





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Factory 56 — the future of cars manufacturing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Even in a difficult economic situation Mercedes-Benz continues to improve its manufacturing process and tries to set a higher bar in the car industry. Another proof of that is the opening of a new Mercedes-Benz’s factory named Factory 56 in the German city Sindelfingen. The company itself calls this factory “Flexible, digital, efficient and sustainable.” Factory 56 was opened at the beginning of September on a ground area corresponding to 30 soccer pitches. It took 2.5 years to finish the project. According to the company’s web-site, Mercedes-Benz is planning to invest about 2.1 billion euros at Factory 56.

But what makes this plant the future of car manufacturing?

Flexibility. At one factory’s assembly line is possible to assemble cars with different body types. The production can adapt to current demand on the market and allows to easily restructure process of assembling to switch from sedan to SUV, for instance.
Digitalization. The plant has no conventional assembly line. A car is manufactured on a remote platform, which allows a car to stay in one place most of the time when all required parts are being transported by remote carts connected to one intellectual network. The digital ecosystem is built on a powerful WLAN and 5G network, which allows workers to supervise all systems automatically. From the monitoring of parts in stock to the system of electronic workflow, which would save 10 tons of paper every year.
Environmental friendliness. Factory 56 became fully carbon-neutral with zero CO2 emissions and significantly low energy consumption. The plant was built using recycled concrete. 40% of the factory’s roof is covered with plants and trees, the roof is also filled with solar panels, which is a sign that Mercedes-Benz does care about the environment. 
Working conditions. More than 1500 employees are working at the factory in two shifts. While organizing the working space, Mercedes-Benz took into account employees’ preferences. For example, via an online survey, they were asked about personal opinions, preferable shifts to work, suggestions, and even people they want to work together with. More than 85% of the suggestions were successfully granted.

At Factory 56 Mercedes-Benz is manufacturing the new S-class W223 and EQS as start models to launch the site. It’s extremely crucial that the company approached this project with responsibility, taking care of the environment.

I would say it should be an example for major companies that it’s possible to remain eco-friendly and efficient at the same time. And, of course, technologies. This is really astonishing to see real technological development, not the one Apple calls “revolution” each year. This is a huge step towards efficiency. For me, it’s really boldly for a company with a reputation and history to do this. It’s clear to see their struggles on this occasion, let alone the new S-class. Mercedes-Benz proved that even investing an enormous amount of money to implement modern technologies is worth it when it comes to technologies.





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