Mercedes-Benz, always a leader in automotive technology, has once again raised the bar for the BMWs, Audis, and Lexuses of the world with the Distance Plus radar cruise system available in new S-Class sedans. Unlike current radar-assisted offerings from companies like Infiniti, Distance Plus can control the vehicle in both highway and city driving conditions, meaning you can commute from Harlem to Wall Street down the West Side Highway while sipping your coffee and reading the Post Engadget on your mobile, glancing up occassionally to steer. Auto Spies has an exclusive vid of the system in action, which on the surface isn't that exciting because, well, its mostly just footage of a car driving down the road. The cool part comes when they cut to the (luxurious) interior of the sedan and focus on the dashboard, where the Distance Plus data is displayed inside the speedometer as two tiny cars moving towards and away from one another, in response to real world conditions. We're not sure why they didn't just connect a wire between this system and the built-in GPS and backup cam, which would obviously have been the only step necessary in making this Benz all Total Recall and stuff.

Update: we were pointed to a very interesting German show on Distance Plus, which would appear to demonstrate that it's completely ineffective. Specifically, a test driver actually smashes his Mercedes, presumably while using Distance Plus. Ah, the schadenfreude!

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