The next version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousine will offer a most unusual feature, according to a recent press release from the luxury automaker. The new S-Class limo will reportedly have a self-driving feature that will allow the chauffeur to put the vehicle on a kind of autopilot, using a network of 26 cameras, radars and sensors to maintain speed, direction, distance from other vehicles and other controls. However, Mercedes was quick to point out that the self-driving feature will not be able to operate the vehicle safely without being monitored by an actual driver. Like the autopilots used on aircraft, the driver will still have to observe and control the safe operation of the limo, but the self-driving feature will help to reduce driver fatigue and help avoid collisions.
Mercedes says that limousines equipped with Distronic Plus, the radar-based cruise control system, will not be available until late 2013, and prices will begin around $200,000. The system works by matching the speed and movements of a lead vehicle and maintaining a predetermined distance between the limo and the lead vehicle. While the system can take control of the steering, the driver will need to keep his hands on the wheel at all times. A torque sensor located in the steering column monitors pressure on the steering wheel, and, if it is unable to detect the pressure of at least one hand on the wheel, an array of buzzers and lights on the dashboard will alert the driver and disable the steering function of the system.
Mercedes claims that the Distronic Plus system will help “relieve motorists when driving is more of a burden than a pleasure – on the monotonous daily commute, for example, or in stop-and-go traffic”. Calling the system a “gradual introduction to autonomous driving,” Mercedes says that it is merely the first stage of a long developmental process to the driverless cars seen in science fiction movies and the next generation of accident-avoidance systems.
The system includes several important safety features, including vehicle and obstacle avoidance and a pedestrian detection system that Mercedes claims can completely prevent vehicle-pedestrian collisions at speeds up to 30 mph.
There may come a day when truly driverless cars are safe, reliable and a common sight on Bay Area roadways, but there will never be a day when we offer chauffeur-less San Francisco limousines to our guests. Without a nicely dressed, polite and professional chauffeur to greet our guests warmly, open their doors, answer their questions and transport them safely, a big part of the San Francisco limo experience would be missing. We are always on the lookout for new ways to enhance our guests’ limousine experiences, but we’re certain that automation is not the way to go. So, if you’re thinking about renting a San Francisco limo, party van or other luxury vehicle for a special event, just give us a call at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936. No extra charge for the chauffeur. We promise!
Legendary Italian automaker Maserati has announced that they will introduce a new luxury limousine in the very near future, as well as a new SUV and mid-sized sedan. The recent announcement caught many exotic car enthusiasts by surprise, as Maserati has built an enviable reputation over the years as a designer and manufacturer of ultra high-end sports coupes. The new Maserati limousine will be called the Quattroporte, and comp-any officials hope that it, along with the new performance-focused SUV and luxury sedan models, will help Maserati boost sales and increase market share.
New models are not the only part of Maserati’s new direction. The automaker also plans to make some of their automobiles more affordable, with entry level models priced around $125,000, a price that is half that of Maserati’s lowest-priced cars. The Quattroporte is expected to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2013. Maserati is withholding most details about the new limo, but they have reported that it will be over 17 feet long and offer more cabin space than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Porsche Panamera.
The new sedan will be called the Ghibli, which Maserati says will compete with the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Classes. The new SUV will be called the Levante, which seems poised to compete with the Porsche Cayenne for SUV buyers with deep pockets.
Many staff members here at NLS Limo are very excited to hear about Maserati’s new direction. They are especially interested in seeing how Maserati designers reinvent the new limousine with their keen eye for automotive lines and details. If you have a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for superb customer service and need a San Francisco limousine for an upcoming event, you have definitely come to the right place! We have the Bay Area’s best selection of stretch limos, SUV limos, luxury sedans and other vehicles for groups of two up to 62. For more information about your options, as well as rates and availability, call us today at 800-339-8936!