This might be one of the most intelligent hybrid systems we’ve heard of. Mercedes-Benz’s Intelligent Hybrid analyzes the road ahead so the vehicle can make decisions about how to most efficiently use battery power. It works like this:
Inside the COMAND® navigation system, information about topography—hills, valleys, elevation and descent—are all stored. As the vehicle is driven, the system scans up to 4.4 miles of the upcoming road. When the vehicle realizes that a hill is approaching, it makes plans to rely on battery power—not the vehicle’s engine—to make it to the crest of the hill. As you begin descending, the spinning of the vehicle’s wheels will completely recharge the battery.
The Intelligent Hybrid system analyzes how much the descent will recharge the battery, and thus knows precisely when to start using battery on the ascent. The system also factors in whether you’re using things like A/C, the vehicle’s weight, your driving style, and how fast you are travelling. So a car that’s loaded up with passengers and running the stereo and A/C will use the battery later than a car with only one passenger and the A/C off.
The impact of this will be less use of the car’s engine, which results in fewer emissions and more fuel saved. It also extends battery life by using the battery more efficiently. Where a regular hybrid would simply coast around with a full battery at all times, missing opportunities to discharge its energy and save fuel, the Intelligent Hybrid system knows how to manage itself.
The Intelligent Hybrid system is finely tuned to detail and analyzes each section of the road in one meter increments. This means that the slightest change in topography will be taken into account. The system is always looking for ways to save energy, even if you don’t have the navigation system turned on.
As a new technology that developed out of Mercedes-Benz’s F1 racing vehicles, right now it appears that this will be available with the C and S-Class Hybrid Vehicles. Talk to a sales consultant to learn more.