Mercedes-Benz F 100 from 1991 was ahead of its time; featured pioneering systems
The Mercedes-Benz F 100 research vehicle that was first presented to the public on 12 January 1991 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, US, was way ahead of its time.
The research vehicle featured pioneering technologies such as operating the phone with buttons on the steering wheel, distance control, electronic tyre pressure monitoring system as well as many attributes of networked vehicles. Various systems from the F 100 have found their way into series production of contemporary passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
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Features from the F 100 such as the gas-discharge headlights or the xenon headlamps were introduced on the E-Class - 210 model series in 1995. The phone-based voice recognition feature was introduced as LINGUATRONIC in the S-Class - 140 model series in 1996.
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The vehicle also boasts of various safety features based on conclusions from accident data. Inside the car, the distance between the driver and instrument panel boosts safety. Rear occupants' seats have been offset from the centre and are protected by sturdy rear wheel arches.
Much ahead of its time, the F 100 also had various attributes of networked vehicles that are found today. A central screen behind the steering wheel inside the car provides all information grouped by priorities within the driver’s field of vision. Electronics components such as distance control, Active Blind Spot Assist and the reversing camera, provide data and images for a safe journey. This three-decade old vehicle also had automatic lane keeping.
The distance control feature was introduced in the 220 model series S-Class as DISTRONIC in 1998, Active Blind Spot Assist was introduced in 2007 and the reversing camera was seen on the 221 model series S-Class in 2005.
The F 100 today is an exhibit of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.