Recently Mercedes-Benz revealed its plans for Vision ZERO 2050, United Nations goal to reduce road fatalities to zero by 2050. And halve the number of fatalities from 2020 to 2030. The German manufacturer also showcased their research prototype, the Vision EQXX. An electric car, which shows the future direction the company is taking in regards of green energy and safety.
The 3rd Safe Roads India Summit was hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) centre in Bengaluru. The premises on which a lot of engineers work on this project, for making roads safer, not just for the passengers of Mercedes cars, but for all road users.
Mercedes has always been known for building some of the safest cars in the world and they also have their Accident Research unit, which has been working on accident data for 50 years now. Since 2015, the Safe Roads program has been conducted in India, to help make the roads of the country safer.
This Safe Roads initiative promotes road safety through physical demonstrations, visual aids, and research reports. All this in a road show format, which is conducted in different cities of India.
The theme for the 3rd edition was announced to be ‘Leading Safety with Sustainability at the Core’. Speaking at the occasion, Manu Saale, MD and CEO, MBRDI said, “We launched ‘Safe Roads’ to create awareness about the significance of road safety, share best practices with future road users, with an aim to reduce India’s alarmingly high road accident fatality rate. Our journey of promoting road safety across the country, first, through road shows in eight cities and now with the SAFE ROADS India Summit, has been very fulfilling.”
Towards this end, the company also showed an ‘EQS Body in White (BiW)’. It is a passenger car from the company’s stable which highlights all the safety features in the vehicle. It shows off the various different materials employed in the structure to keep the passengers safe from impact on all sides. It also showed the safety sensors and restraint system components.
The safety campaign of the company was overshadowed by the gorgeous machine on display at the MBRDI centre. The Vision EQXX unsurprisingly captivated the vision and all other senses of the spectators. Engineers of MBRDI have greatly contributed to the development of the Vision EQXX, as such it was an even sweeter sensation to view it in that spatial setting.
Mercedes-Benz intends to ‘lead in electric’ and ‘lead in car software’, and this product was their attempt at showcasing the potential to covet both those epithets. The Vision EQXX boasts a 1000+ km range in real world driving conditions, as the company had driven the car from Stuttgart in Germany to Silverstone in England, covering more than 1200 kilometres, while averaging 80+ kmph. All of this was done on a single battery charge!
This brilliance in technology has not just come from the improvement in battery and motor, but also a large part is played by the aerodynamics of the machine. It proudly boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.17, which is incredible for a road going machine. This goal was aided by the Mercedes Formula 1 engineers who worked on it as well. It of course has a better battery and efficiency, but it also has a solar roof, which gives the car an extra 25 km, when the sun is burning bright!
When you are standing by the side of the Vision EQXX, you feel like you are taking a step into the future. Whether this is what the future will look like, is something we will get to know, as more R&D goes into electric vehicles, along with newer technologies being developed.
About the EQXX Manu Saale added, “VISION EQXX is a testament to our development approach. It underlines our pioneering spirit, technological leadership and expertise in electric cars, and positions Mercedes-Benz as a leading tech brand. I am proud to share that MBRDI has contributed extensively towards the development of VISION EQXX. Over the years, we have established ourselves as an innovation powerhouse with some aspects of every Mercedes-Benz car touched, modified, developed, and supported by India. In line with the plan to go all-electric by 2030 and achieving Vision Zero by 2050, our engineers are playing a major role in the development of the electric architecture and innovating for the future of safe, sustainable, and smart mobility”.
We wish Mercedes-Benz Safe Roads initiative is successful, as we are desperately in need of safer roads in the country. It is good to know that this German brand with a rich history of safety, are investing deeply into making India’s roads safer for all of us.