Mercedes-Benz will unveil the ESF 2009 based on the S 400 Hybrid at a safety conference in Stuttgart. The concept is packed with safety innovations and futuristic goodies that could make it into production.

This year Mercedes-Benz celebrates a few anniversaries such as the principle of the crumple zone, invented in 1939 and the in-house accident research function in 1959. In 2009 the company is introducing its first Experimental Safety Vehicle in 35 years, the ESF 2009. The aim of the car is to illustrate innovative safety features that could make it into production.

The ESF is based on the S 400 Hybrid. One of the ideas installed in the car is something called a Braking Bag. It is an air bag that sits within the ESF's floor and deploys when the car "decides" that a crash is imminent. By increasing friction with the road surface it helps to slow the vehicle down and also stabilises it.

"Safety is a central element of the Mercedes-Benz brand," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "In this respect we have been setting the pace in the market for almost 70 years. For the benefit of our customers and for road users in general. The ESF 2009 shows that we still have plenty of ideas and the absolute will, to lead the automobile industry in this field even in future."

Interactive Vehicle Communication is another innovation of the ESF 2009. The IVC system allows cars travelling in opposite directions to communicate with each other in order to warn of upcoming bad weather or road obstacles.

There's also PRE-SAFE Pulse which moves passengers towards the centre of the car by up to 50mm. It does this to reduce the forces acting on their torsos during a lateral collision. The other safety piece is the partial LED main beam which specifically illuminates potential hazards that are detected to be outside of the normal illuminated area.

The ESF 2009 will be presented on the 15th of June at the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) Conference in Stuttgart.

Fully detailed press release on the following 15 pages.

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