ER24 breathes life into baby rhino

Andrew Boden with Thor

Andrew Boden with Thor

If a rhino could talk, he would tell you about the trauma he endured after losing his mother at the hands of poachers and how he himself, almost died.

He would also tell you how Care for Wild Africa and ER24 saved his life.

While ER24 is all about making sure people obtain realhelprealfast, they do find themselves called upon to save other beings.

One such incident was that of a baby rhino, Thor, who would probably have died if not for ER24.

Petronel Nieuwoudt, the founder of Care for Wild Africa which is based in Mpumalanga, said Thor, an eight-month-old black rhino, suffered severe dehydration recently.

“I went to a fundraising dinner. While there, I received a message stating Thor was unwell.

“Thor was in a bad condition. It was difficult to stabilise him. His blood sugar was low. I told people at the farm to put a drip on him. They said there was no way this could be done because there were no drips left. I thought the best thing to do was call ER24. The most amazing thing happened that evening,” said Nieuwoudt.

She spoke to Marius Koekemoer, the Northern Regional manager, who suggested she come to the base and pick up medication.

When she arrived at the base Koekemoer told her that he was going off duty and would go back to the farm with her to help.

“I was in shock. Thor is close to me. I needed help. We rushed back to the farm. It felt like a movie,” said Nieuwoudt. On arrival, they rushed to Thor to stabilise him.

They rehydrated him with dextrose and milk. They were unsuccessful in the initial use of an intravenous drip however were able to insert one later on.

“Thor was dying. The only way to save him was to get fluids into him and get his glucose levels up. I just sat there and watched the miracle unfold in front of me. It was such a relief. ER24 is not only about saving people. The wonder and magic around Thor is part of the ER24 story. I cannot thank them enough. Koekemoer was brilliant, caring and magnificent,” said Nieuwoudt.

Since the treatment, Thor has been doing well. Nieuwoudt said he was moved to a bigger enclosure and now weighs 130 kilogrammes.


Petronel with Thor


Thor’s horrific past

Thor is one of several baby rhinos that have suffered as a result of poachers.

His mother’s horn was taken after she was shot. She suffered for a week. Thor was by her side. When she was found she had to be put down. Thor was thin and dehydrated. He was taken to the Care for Wild Africa farm. “He almost died. He stopped breathing in the helicopter when he was rescued,” said Nieuwoudt.



Statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs in November show that 1020 rhinos have been killed since 1 January 2014.

Mr Andrew Boden, the Chief Executive Officer of ER24, said poaching leaves rhinos is a horrific state. “With horns showing more value than cocaine it is no fault of their own that they have become targets. People do not know which organisations to support. Care for Wild Africa works closely with the Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga Parks Board. That endorsement makes us comfortable and this is why we support them.

“I visited Care for Wild Africa in July. I then decided to get ER24 involved. We donate equipment, medication and other necessities. We are also working on an adopt a rhino campaign,” said Boden.

Talking about those that survive but undergo severe injuries and trauma, Koekemoer, an animal lover, said, “Animals experience the same symptoms and show the same signs as people do when undergo trauma. However, they are more difficult to treat.

“If they do not receive the necessary attention they could die. It is a bit more difficult to treat animals because they cannot talk. They cannot tell you how they are feeling. What is being done to rhinos by poachers is outrageous. However, there are a lot of organisations which are trying their best to help rhinos.”

Nieuwoudt said orphans need a lot of medical care and attention.

Care for Wild Africa cares for several injured and orphaned animals.

Wildlife is tended at an animal hospital on the farm until they can be rehabilitated back into the wild. Join ER24 in supporting Care for Wild Africa. Email for further information.


To view a video on Thor:

Assistance to Road Users to Drive Safely this Festive Season


According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) around 40 people die on South Africa’s roads a day, costing the economy more than R300bn a year. Over the 2013 Christmas period alone, 1 376 South African people lost their lives in car accidents.

“As the year draws to a close, we are reminded of the devastating accidents that have made headlines this year. In light of these, we would like to urge motorists to be cautious and alert on the roads this Festive Season, committing themselves to safer road user habits,” says Juan Marais, Sales Director of Cartrack.

In an effort to make a difference, Cartrack joined hands with Fury Motor Group to provide support to Netcare 911’s Rapid Intervention Unit in offering invaluable support to paramedic and fire personnel during road accident rescue operations, complete with extrication capabilities. The support vehicle operates independently from official medical and rescue vehicles.

About the Rapid Intervention Unit:

Peter De Kock, Group Risk and Credit Manager at Fury Motor Group says that the unique road accident support vehicle is first and foremost a project that belongs to the community. “There is no charge to the public for the services rendered by the unit. Our priority is to provide quality emergency support in a time of absolute need and when lives of accident victims and medical personnel depend on it,” says Peter.

Netcare 911’s Rapid Intervention Unit will once again be stationed along the N3 route to Kwazulu-Natal at the Van Reenen’s Pass over the Festive Season – a hot spot for accidents - and will attend to any incidents in the vicinity. One of the key services that the vehicle provides is to prevent situations where a motorist crashes into an existing accident scene. “Distracted drivers often do not have enough time to react to a change in the road conditions, which can potentially cause additional damage to an existing accident scene by further injuring accident victims, and placing the lives of emergency personnel attending to the scene at serious risk,” explains Peter.

Cartrack, Fury Motor Group and Netcare 911 provide the following road safety tips:
• Avoid speaking on your phone, but if you absolutely must, always use a hands-free mobile kit to make or receive a phone call.
• Never text on your phone while driving.
• Do not speed. Speed limits are there for good reason – abide by them. According to Arrive Alive, speeding is regarded as a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes.
• Pay attention to road signs and markings – they are there to protect you and other road users.
• Get enough sleep before your trip and make regular stops to stretch your legs and refresh your mind.
• Keep your cool and avoid road rage.
• Have your car serviced and thoroughly checked before your. Double check your car’s tyres to ensure the tread is adequate and ensure that oil, water and brake fluid levels are sufficient before you leave.
• Find out what the emergency numbers are of the places you are driving through or to and have them handy.
If an emergency vehicle approaches
• Make use of rear view mirrors (you will see the emergency vehicle long before you hear the sirens).
• Relax, and look at the emergency vehicle and/or driver as they will indicate where they want to go; guiding you where you should go.
• Move towards the left so the vehicle can pass on your right.
• Should you not be able to move left, move towards the edge of your lane so the emergency vehicle can pass between the vehicles.
• Never tailgate an emergency vehicle as they could decelerate or stop at any time.
• Do not use the emergency lane if traffic is backed up.

“The Rapid Intervention Unit has an important role to play and there is a real need for vehicles of this nature to assist in making our roads safer and providing first line of care for accident victims. The real win however, would be if these accidents never happened in the first place – and it all boils down to reassessing our driver behaviour and making changes for the better,” concludes Juan Marais, Cartrack.

10 Unusual Things to do This Summer

No Comments »Written on December 11th, 2014 by
Categories: Car Insurance, Travel Insurance, Vehicle

big pineapple

Tired of doing the same summer activities? Here are 10 interesting and rather unusual activities and attractions that are sure to make your holiday a lot more fun.


  1. Visit South Africa's Chinatown

Derrick Avenue in Cyrildene is known as Joburg’s new Chinatown and offers an authentic experience. The streets are lined with an overwhelming choice of restaurants where you can taste delicacies from Manchuria, Szechuan and Shanghai. There are also several quaint Chinese shops, karaoke clubs, acupuncturists and tea stalls; and with most of the signage in Mandarin, the suburb has an unmistakably Asian vibe.

  1. Munch on creepy crawlies

Have you ever tried Mopane worms? This traditional African delicacy is not for the faint-hearted. The Mopane worm (also known as Masonja) may look creepy, but daring foodies who have tasted them say Mopane taste like chicken or biltong. Mopane worms are a great source of protein and need minimal cooking. They can be dried, deep fired or eaten with a sauce and can be found in rural supermarkets in Limpopo, preserved in either brine, or a tomato and chilli mix.


 3. Climb inside an enormous Pineapple

The Big Pineapple in Bathurst, Eastern Cape, is the biggest artificial pineapple in the world standing 16.7 metres high. When you enter the pineapple, you can visit the 60-seater auditorium and watch a mini-documentary on the pineapple producing industry. The third floor has a viewing deck where you can enjoy fabulous views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a very unusual but unique experience, because, after all, it’s not often that you get to view the world from a pineapple.


  1. Visit the ‘Spook House’

Rumour has it that this Edwardian-style Jac Loopuyt House, better known by locals as the ‘Spook House’, was occupied by a cult during the 1970s and, as a result, has a spooky aura and some ghostly residents. Visitors have had strange experiences from inexplicable slamming of doors, to seeing flashing lights and some claim to have seen the distinct figure of a man walking the halls. If you want to give yourself the chills this summer, visit number 99 Milner Road in Rondebosch.


  1. Dive in

The Pyramid Rock dive site is the perfect place for amateur divers to experience the magical underwater ecosystem of False Bay. The dive site is just 12 metres deep and boasts a magnificent kelp forest. Divers might also spot the Broadnose Sevengill Cow shark along with the local fish of the area.


  1. Fly high

Adventure seekers looking for a thrill should take a flight on a dual-control gyrocopter over Durban. These lightweight planes look like helicopters but the main difference is that there is no engine controlling the rotors, instead they propel themselves due to the way the air flows through each blade. The bird’s-eye view you get of the breath-taking KwaZulu-Natal coastline is fantastic.


  1. Transport back in time

The James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg is the largest transport museum in South Africa and has an interesting collection of exhibits ranging from 18th century horse-drawn carriages to trams and bicycles dating back to 1786. The museum also features an impressive steam vehicle collection and motor cars from the 1900s. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.


  1. Freefall in Soweto

SCAD Diving (Suspended Catch Air Device Diving) was first trialled in Germany five years ago and is the latest adrenalin-pumping adventure activity to arrive in South Africa. It is the only system in the world that allows unattached, controlled freefall, and it so happens that the world’s highest SCAD diving site is the Orlando Towers in Soweto. The only requirement for this adventure activity is that you have to be phobia free.


  1. Travel to the Top of Africa

The 223 metre high Carlton Centre is Africa’s tallest building and on the 50th storey is the Top of Africa viewing deck that offers visitors 360° views over Johannesburg. Top of Africa is arguably one of the most impressive urban viewpoints in Africa. Inside the Carlton Centre you’ll find a massive ground-level and underground shopping centre, which is one of Joburg’s most vibrant shopping destinations.

 10. Visit the Shoe House

The Shoe House in Mpumalanga was built by artist and hotelier Ron Van Zyl. He built it for his wife, Yvonne, in 1990, which makes one wonder if the artist took the story of the old lady who lived in a shoe too literally. This unusual attraction is a little museum of sorts, showcasing Van Zyl’s wood carvings and acts as the entrance to the Alfa Omega Cave.


Book a car with First Car Rental and plan your next trip to these unusual tourist attractions for a lifetime of memories. We have 49 car hire branches located across South Africa for convenient car rental.

Also view:

Car Rental and Road Safety

Travel Insurance and Road Safety

63 % of Online South Africans believe that violence against children has become more frequent

SAPS Child safety

The majority of South Africans with access to the internet (63 %) believe that violence against children has become more frequent in the last 5 years. This is in line with the global average of 62% in 28 countries believing that violence against children has become more frequent. This is an important finding in view of today being International Human Rights Day and also the last day of the 16 days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Children.

These are the findings from a World Vision study conducted by Ipsos. The study, “Fearing Wrong”, is based on a survey of 11,331 people from 28 countries, conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of international aid agency World Vision.

Globally, more than three-quarters of people know of a child victim of violence. In South Africa, this figure is 81% - more than four-fifths.

Preventing Violence against Children.

When asked to consider the action being taken against violence aimed at children, half of South Africans believe that not very much is being done to prevent it and two-thirds (67%) say that more needs to be done to protect children from violence in their communities.

However, there is a positive side, with almost two-thirds (66%) of respondent saying that they are optimistic that violence against children can be reduced in their lifetimes.

Respondents do believe that certain institutions are more effective in combatting violence against children. The most effective institution for doing so, according to South Africans, is family (55% saying that it is effective), then social workers (48%) and schools (45%).



Causes of Violence against Children:

When asked what the possible causes for violence against children are, most cited that it was a result of alcoholism or substance abuse (69%) or previous abuse (64%).

causes 2



 Technical detail:

Interviews were conducted between the dates of 11 – 20 August 2014. Interviews were completed online by 504 South African respondents. The full report is available on

 About Ipsos: The Home of Researchers

Ipsos is an innovative, entrepreneurial, client-focused organisation, providing research services to clients on a global basis. We set ourselves high standards and aim to work collaboratively in partnership with our teams in order to service our clients most effectively.

Ipsos is proud to be the only global market research company that is still controlled and operated by researchers. We aim to remain the natural home for intellectually curious and passionate researchers.

Our goal is simple: to be our clients' preferred research partners in our areas of specialisation, methodologies and processes. We want our clients to be proud and pleased to work with us - and we want each one of us to be proud and pleased to offer our clients high quality standards, efficiency and intelligence.


US embassy joins the fight against rhino poaching in the Free State

No Comments »Written on December 9th, 2014 by
Categories: Business, Farming Insurance

Rhino 2

The US embassy in Pretoria has joined the fight against rhino poaching in the Free State. The U.S. Department of Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs donated a trailer containing surveillance and investigative equipment. This exercise supports the Free State in its fight against illegal trade in fauna and flora as well as rhino poaching.

The donation follows a pledge made by President Barack Obama to help support the fight against wild life trafficking when he visited South Africa last year. In his 2014/15 budget speech MEC for Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Mosebenzi Zwane said, “We will intensify our efforts to stop the illegal trade in fauna and flora as well as rhino poaching, compliance monitoring will continue in various industries. More enforcement actions will be undertaken this financial year”.

Working together with police, about 17 roadblocks have been conducted within the borders of the province and 20 cases of fauna and flora are before courts 2 of the related to rhino poaching.

In the fight against rhino poaching, the department is working with private sector and total of about 800 DNA has been collected to assist with tracking during roadblocks. To take this fight further, 2 Ambassadors from U.S embassy will visit the province to train and workshop the nature reserve rangers on how to use surveillance and investigative equipment.

The workshop will be held at Maria Moroka Nature Reserve in Thaba Nchu north of Bloemfontein on the 9 December 2014 at 10h00. This trailer will carry forensic equipment to crime scenes, ensuring rangers and environmental management inspectors have the tools they need to properly collect evidence.

Members of the media are invited to witness the US and the Free State tackling rhino poaching.

Volkswagen reveals new Touareg

No Comments »Written on December 8th, 2014 by
Categories: Car Insurance, Vehicle


Volkswagen Touareg combines comfort and convenience features of a superior SUV with the all-terrain attributes of a sophisticated off-road vehicle. This configuration of the four-wheel drive Volkswagen sports utility vehicle, which doubles as a robust and capable off-roader for any adventure into the bush, gives it a fascination all of its own.

The new Touareg has been given a significantly sharper look and technical enhancement. Features of the new Touareg generation include a redesigned front and rear, new driver assistance systems such as Automatic Post-Collision Braking System as standard, an optional new generation of the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and an improved layout of the suspension.

Exterior with new front and rear designs. The new Touareg can be vusially differentiated by its redesigned front and rear. Striking features at the front-end are the redesigned bi-xenon headlights, which are now standard across the range. At the back, new rear lights have been introduced. The range of colours has been updated to include ’Light Silver Metallic’, ‘Tungsten Silver Metallic’, 'Reef Blue Metallic', 'Black Oak Brown Metallic' and 'Moonlight Blue Pearl Effect'. The designers have also given a new look to the alloy wheels available: Senora (17-inch), 'Arica' (18-inch), 'Everest (19-inch), ‘Masafi’ (20-inch) and 'Talladega' (20-inch for optional R-Line package).

Interior with new materials, colours and switches. Redesigned interior features include the aluminium switches synonymous with the Touareg class. All buttons and switches are now illuminated in white which gives the interior ambience an additionally refined and sophisticated feel. The range of interior colours and styles of leather has been updated.

Engine line-up unchanged. The engine line-up remain unchanged with one petrol – 3.6 V6 FSI (206kW) and two diesel engines – 3.0 V6 TDI (180kW) and 4.2 V8 TDI (250kW). All engines come with the standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

Updated suspension and new assistance systems. The standard steel-spring suspension has been optimised, with improvements including an even more agile steering and extra comfort. Available again as an option to the Touareg range is an air suspension system, with which ground clearance can be increased to as much as 300 mm on off-road terrain. Meanwhile, at higher speeds (140 km/h and above) the air suspension automatically lowers the vehicle's body.

'R-Line' package. The new Touareg is available with an optional sporty R-Line package which includes 20-inch Talladega alloy wheels, 'R-Line' design bumpers, side sill extensions, a black gloss diffuser at the back (also with additional chrome trim), chrome-plated tailpipes and an aerodynamically optimised roof edge spoiler.

Exterior & Interior

Key highlights on the exterior and interior:

  • New bi-xenon headlights form a stylistic unit with the likewise redesigned chrome radiator grille
  • New front bumper gives the Touareg a much broader and thus more powerful look
  • White illumination and ambient lighting add finesse to the night-time design

The all new second generation Touareg was launched in South Africa late in 2010. The new Touareg has been mid-lifecycle enhancements in accordance with the Volkswagen design DNA, which calls for very clear and precise lines with strong horizontal division of both front and rear sections. The front section in particular, with its remodelled band of radiator grille and headlights, creates a first link to the Volkswagen SUV concept cars of recent times.



Front. The design of the front-end of the Touareg has been completely redesigned. The most striking elements are the new larger headlights. These are bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and dynamic cornering lights are standard across the range. The trapezoid-shaped light fittings form a line towards the centre of the vehicle with the restyled radiator grille, which incorporates the VW emblem (3D design). In contrast to its predecessor, the grille is embellished by four rather than two chrome slats and extends. The same applies to the headlights further down into the bumper, which is now horizontally divided even more strongly than before. As a result the new Touareg looks appreciably wider.

The bottom section of the bumper with its new looks fits well into this image. The bottom air intake, complete with decorative grille, now forms a broad, stylised 'A' instead of a 'V'; on its immediate left and right are the side air intakes in trapezoid form. This gives the Touareg more presence on the road. Sitting below this, are the redesigned fog lights. Stylistically, they form the outer bottom ends of the aforementioned 'A'. If the 'Chrome & Style' package has been ordered, there follows at the next level a chrome strip and a bumper zone painted in the vehicle body colour. This enhancement continues around the sides and rear section.

Rear. From behind, the new Touareg can be identified by its new, clearly shaped bumper, which similarly to the front-end now underlines width of the SUV's. A diffuser, also redesigned, has been integrated between the tailpipes of the exhaust system. The designers have relocated the LED rear fog lights and the reflectors into the bumper. Looking from bottom to top, features that catch the eye around the rear-end are the chrome strip (added here too with the 'Chrome & Style' package), the remodelled VW emblem and a sharpened character line between the rear lights.

Silhouette. The features that distinguish the Touareg from the side are two redesigned styles of wheels. In the 18-inch format the 'Arica' alloy wheel (standard in V6 derivatives) comes into use with this new model generation. Its design is characterised by ten spokes. By contrast, the optional ‘Masafi’ 20-inch alloy wheel has five double spokes.

Colours. Volkswagen will be offering the new Touareg with a choice of nine colours, some of which are new to the range. The available colours are: Pure White, Canyon Grey Metallic, Tungsten Silver Metallic, Light Silver Metallic, Moonlight Blue Pearlescent, Black Oak Brown Metallic, Deep Black Pearlescent, Oryx White Pearlescent and Reef Blue Metallic.


New switches and white illumination. The interior of the Touareg reflects an extraordinary alliance of robust SUV elements and elegant high-class features. The SUV elements in the Touareg include the aluminium rotary knobs for the Climatronic system, suspension adjustment and air suspension control, for the radio/navigation system, wing mirror adjustment and air vents. These have all been replaced by redesigned high-end aluminium rotary knobs, which have been optimised in terms of both look and feel. Another striking feature is the illumination of the controls, which is now white instead of red. The ambient lighting (doors, footwells and roof console) is now also white.

Also new: chrome trim around control modules such as the suspension adjuster. Above the infotainment system on the centre console, additions have been made to the central row of buttons and indicators. Until now there were three elements here from left to right: 'Park Distance Control' (PDC), the hazard warning lights switch and the 'Passenger Airbag Off' indicator. Arranged to the left of the PDC button there is now an additional switch for the heated steering wheel, being offered for the first time in the Touareg (only available in V8). A new front-seat standard feature is the electrically adjustable lumbar support (optional in V6 FSI).

Seat cover materials and wood accents. The range of seat cover materials has been extended. For example, 'Vienna leather': in addition to 'Titanium Black', Corn Silk Beige' and 'Natural Brown', a fourth colour, 'Bonanza' (dark, reddish brown) is now available. Over and above these four colours, the particularly refined 'Nappa leather' is standard in the V8.


Standard and optional features

Key highlights on the standard and optional features

  • New Automatic Post-Collision Braking System standard
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with City Emergency Braking function
  • V8 standard with RNS 850 Navigation system, automatic tailgate opening and Keyless Access

Volkswagen is offering its premium class SUV with a number of standard features as well as a large array of driver assistance and convenience systems. These systems include Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Park Distance Control (front and rear) and fatigue detection.  The new Touareg can also be customised with the optional ‘R-Line' package.

Standard features

Standard features of the V6 models. The standard features in the V6 FSI (cricket leather seats) and V6 TDI (Vienna leather with electric memory front seats) derivatives include new bi-xenon headlights with LED headlights, permanent four-wheel drive, 17-inch ‘Sonora’ (V6 FSI) and 18-inch ‘Arica’ (V6 TDI) alloy wheels, the new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Park Distance Control (front and rear) cruise control with multifunction steering wheel, tyre pressure monitor, RCD 550 infotainment system with 6.5 inch touchscreen, MEDIA-In with iPod/iPhone socket, automatic air conditioning (Climatronic), Servotronic steering and ESC.

Standard features of the V8. In the case of the V8, additional standard include Nappa leather seat trim, stainless steel pedals, ‘Burr Walnut’ accents for dashboard, door trim panels and centre console, leather heated multi-function wheel with tip shift paddles, KESSY keyless locking and starting system, easy open package for tailgate opening, Chrome and Style design package, RNS-850 navigation system and 19-inch ‘Everest’ alloy wheels.

Optional features

Key optional features and assistance systems. With its numerous systems for providing driver assistance and added comfort, the Touareg is one of the safest and most comfortable SUVs on the market.

Optional features offered with the new Touareg include panoramic sunroof, area view and rear view camera, lane assist, side assist, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), radio/navigation system, DynAudio ‘Confidence’ 12-speaker system with 620W amplifier, electrically foldable towbar and air suspension.

'R-Line' package

'R-Line' for exterior and interior. Similarly to the previous model, the new Touareg will be offered with an optional sporty R-Line package. Included in the 'R-Line' exterior package are 20-inch Talladega alloy wheels, bumpers in the 'R-Line' design, black gloss air intakes with additional chrome trim, side sill extensions, a black gloss diffuser at the back (also with additional chrome trim), chrome-plated tailpipes and an aerodynamically optimised roof edge spoiler. The 'R-Line' badge on the radiator grille is a further indicator of the vehicle's especially dynamic specification.

The 'R-Line' interior package adds to the Touareg, titanium black headlining, leather heated multi-function steering wheel, 'R-Line' decorative inlays in 'Silver Lane', 'R-Line' door tread plates and stainless steel pedal caps. The rear side and rear windows are 65% tinted.

Driver assistance and convenience systems

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Currently available in the new Golf and new Polo, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is now a standard feature in the new Touareg. The system automatically slows the vehicle down if it is involved in an accident in order to significantly reduce its residual kinetic energy. Triggering of the post-collision braking system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors. The system's deceleration of the Touareg is limited by the ESC controller to a maximum of 0.6 g. This value ensures that the driver can maintain control of the car even in the event of automatic braking. The driver can 'override' the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time. If, for example, the driver applies any noticeable pressure to the accelerator, the system is disabled. The automatic system is also deactivated whenever drivers themselves initiate an emergency stop at an even higher rate of deceleration. In essence, the driver assistance system applies the brakes and slows the car down to a speed of 10 km/h. This residual speed enables the car to be driven to a safe place to stop following the braking process.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).  Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) automatically regulates the safe distance between the Touareg and the vehicle in front – a speed control system that not only accelerates automatically, but brakes automatically as well. In an emergency, it does this all the way to a complete stop. The space in front of the vehicle is scanned via two radar sensors. This double radar system has a range of 200 metres with an aperture angle of 40 degrees.

Area View. Area View is a surroundings monitoring system. Via four cameras (in the rear hatch, the wing mirrors and the radiator grille) Area View transmits images of the complete area around the Touareg onto the central touchscreen in the centre console. Via split screen it is possible to display multiple images at the same time. The control unit also calculates from the four individual camera images a high-quality overall view of the surrounding area – from the perspective of a virtual camera above the vehicle. On off-road terrain Area View relays via the front and side cameras the scene immediately ahead and to the side of the vehicle – in extreme situations a sometimes invaluable benefit.

Lane Assist. The way that the Lane Assist lane departure warning system works is also camera-based. If there is a danger of the car changing lane without indicating, the system warns the driver by vibrating the steering wheel and by depicting the detected lane markings that the car has crossed on the instruments' multifunction display. The system consists of a camera between the rooflining and rear-view mirror and a vibration motor inside the steering wheel. The camera recognises visible lane markings (markings on one side suffice) and, using a special algorithm and taking into account driving dynamics data, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. Lane Assist is activated at speeds of 65 km/h and above, that is outside of urban areas. When the car's speed drops below 60 km/h, the system automatically deactivates.

Side Assist. Two radar sensors at the rear on the Touareg scan the approaching traffic. LEDs in the wing mirrors immediately inform the driver of any vehicle in the blind spot (Blind Spot Detection) or approaching at extreme speed (Lane Change Assist). Any use of the indicator during this information phase shows that the driver intends to change lane and thus signals potential danger. The LEDs in the wing mirrors now flash brightly, warning the driver of the possible dangerous situation. If the Touareg is equipped not only with Side Assist but also with ACC, the functionality of the Adaptive Cruise Control system is extended by a fusion of the data from both systems. Interlinked in this case with the Side Assist system, the ACC then weighs up, for instance, whether speeding up could perhaps prevent a rear-end impact, provided that the road ahead of the Touareg is clear.



Key highlights on the V6 and V8 engines

  • Power output ranges from 180 kW (V6 TDI) to 250 kW (V8 TDI)
  • V8 TDI delivering 250 kW is the most powerful diesel engine in the Volkswagen model range.
  • Touareg comes standard with 8-speed automatic transmission

The new Touareg is offered with the similar engine line-up as the previous model. The power output ranges from 180kW (V6 TDI) to 250kW (V8 TDI).  The 3.0 V6 TDI is offered with BlueMotion Technology with Stop Start system and brake energy recovery function. The engine's power is transmitted to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox and 4MOTION permanent four-wheel drive.

V6 engines

V6 FSI delivering 206 kW. The 3.6 V6 FSI is the only petrol engine in the range. This engine has power output of 206 kW available 6 200rpm. The smooth six-cylinder unit develops a maximum torque of 360 Newton-metres, which is constantly available at a low 3 200 rpm and guarantees superior high-torque performance It has a claimed combined fuel consumption of 10.9 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions value of 259 g/km. The Touareg V6 FSI has a top speed of 228 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in just 7.8 seconds.

V6 TDI with BlueMotion Technology delivering 180 kW. The popular 3.0 TDI V6 engine outputs 180 kW of power at 4,000 rpm. This common rail turbodiesel  engine (injection pressure: 1,800 bar) with 2,967 cm3 displacement develops a strong 550 Newton- metres torque from 2,000 rpm and consumes a low 7.2 l/100 km (equivalent to 189 g/km CO2). It has a top speed of 218 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in a sporty 7.8 seconds.

V6 TDI with 180kW and 'Terrain Tech'. Touareg customers that enjoy outdoor life can order the 'Terrain Tech' derivative of the V6 TDI. The ‘Terrain Tech’ derivative comes standard with a centre differential with a powerful transfer case designed for off-road use, including both a low range gear and 100% locking centre and rear axle differentials. This version has a five-stage rotary switch, via which the driver can adapt the SUV to the different uses.

V8 engine

V8 TDI delivering 250kW. The most powerful TDI in the Touareg range is a V8 with an engine displacement of 4,134 cc and power output of 250 kW (at 4,000 rpm). Like the V6 TDI, the V8 TDI works with a common rail direct injection system. Its maximum torque of 800 Newton metres is available at between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. It has a modest claimed fuel consumption of just 9.1 l/100 km (equating to 239 g/km CO2). Like the V6 TDI, the V8 TDI also has a thermal management system with a switched water pump in order to shorten the warm-up phase. The Touareg V8 TDI achieves a top speed of 242 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in just 5.8 seconds.

Four-wheel drive and suspension

Key highlights of the four-wheel drive and suspension

  • The Touareg steel-spring suspension has been made more comfortable; in parallel with this agility has been further improved.
  • Air suspension provides different height levels and lowers automatically at higher speed.
  • 4xMOTION 'Terrain Tech' for tough off-road use optionally with lockable central differential and low range gear.

The new Touareg has standard permanent four-wheel drive system (4MOTION; 31-degree uphill capability) and a steel-spring suspension; the running gear has been extensively upgraded. As an option Volkswagen also offers the Touareg with a four-wheel drive system (4MOTION 'Terrain Tech'; 45-degree uphill capability) complete with low range gear and innovative air suspension that is even more suitable for off-road use.

Four-wheel drive system and suspension in detail:

Four-wheel drive system 4MOTION. In the standard configuration, the Touareg has four-wheel drive with a self-locking Torsen transfer case (uphill capability of 31 degrees) and electronic differential locks (EDS) at all four wheels. The Touareg is also equipped as standard with an 'Off-road Driving Programme', which attunes the ABS, EDS and ASR to off-road use, activates Hill Descent Assist and adapts the shift points of the automatic gearbox.

4xMOTION with low range gear.  This combination is only offered with the V6 TDI with Terrain Tech package and this 4xMOTION drive system has the capacity to climb inclines of up to 45 degrees. It includes a lockable centre differential with electrically controlled multi-plate lock and reduction gear (2.69:1), plus greater ground clearance of 230 (front) and 235 (rear) mm – standard ground clearance is 220mm. In normal operation there is a seamless, slip-dependent distribution of tractive power between front and rear axle (40:60). Additionally, it is possible to lock the centre differential in order to achieve a fixed distribution of power. It is also possible to switch off the ESC as well. In the case of vehicles with air suspension any unwanted lowering of the vehicle from the off-road level can be prevented via a 'Lock' button, which limits the speed of the Touareg to 70 km/h.


Steel-spring suspension. Volkswagen is offering the new Touareg with a steel-spring suspension or optional air suspension running gear. The steel-spring suspension with independent wheel suspension has now been further enhanced. The improvements include even more agile steering and added comfort. The basic layout is formed as before by two double wishbones, at the front with top suspension arms made of aluminium and lower arms made of steel. At the back the double wishbone suspension has forged upper aluminium arms and lower triangular steel arms.

Air suspension. The optional air suspension's system includes self-levelling and ride height adjustment, plus electronic damper control. On tarmac roads the air suspension guarantees an extremely high level of comfort and – thanks to speed-dependent reduction of the ride height – optimised handling characteristics. As an alternative to the automatic 'Normal' mode the driver is able to select a 'Comfort' or 'Sport' mode. If 'Comfort' is chosen, the Skyhook system provides the best possible compensation for road surface unevenness, while in 'Sport' mode with the ride height lowered by 25 millimetres the result is increased agility. On rough terrain the air suspension further improves off-road qualities by means of variable ride height while maintaining comfort at an extraordinarily high level.

Off-road characteristics. With its double wishbone suspensions, the suspension of the new Touareg continues with a tried and tested layout, which permits great spring travel and good axle articulation (4MOTION: 157 millimetres / 4xMOTION 'Terrain Tech' with low range gear: 173 millimetres) on off-road terrain. The version with the standard steel-spring suspension has an approach angle of 22º at the front and a departure angle of 23º at the back. Allied with ground clearance of 220 millimetres, the new Touareg thus cuts an excellent figure away from off road driving too.

With 'Terrain Tech' derivative, the vehicle body is 10 millimetres higher at the front and 15 higher at the rear. With the optional air suspension ground clearance goes up still further, to a maximum of 300 millimetres, thus also increasing the approach and departure angles.

Retail Prices (VAT and emissions tax included)

3.6 V6 FSI Elegance (206kW)         R709 100

3.0 V6 TDI with BlueMotion Technology Luxury (180kW)        R796 500

3.0 V6 TDI with BlueMotion Technology Escape – Terrain Tech (180kW)    R822 100

4.2 V8 TDI Executive (250kW)       R990 600

Warranty and Service

The new Touareg comes standard with a 3 year/ 120 000 km manufacturer warranty and 5 year/100 000 km Automotion Maintenance Plan.  All models have a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty and 15 000 km service intervals.

For more info on buying a vehicle also view:

Vehicle Finance, Car Insurance and Road Safety

Buying and Selling a Vehicle – Informed decisions and the Vehicle Retailer




Effect of water temperature on swimmers’ body temperature tested at V&A Waterfront


On request of the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town team, the Sports Science Institute of South Africa conducted a trial to monitor the effect of the water temperature in the V&A Waterfront’s Quay 6 basin (the event’s swim venue) on swimmers’ body temperature.

The trial was overseen by Professor Tim Noakes and saw 9 swimmers complete a swim course of 1 500m.

[Photos by Chris Hitchcock]

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Noakes 2

DVTEL Quasar 4K Ultra HD Cameras from GIT take video surveillance quality to new heights

No Comments »Written on December 3rd, 2014 by
Categories: Business

DVTEL Quasar 4K Ultra

Graphic Image Technologies (GIT), a specialist in remote CCTV and control room technologies, video compression and transmission, has announced the availability of DVTEL Quasar 4K Ultra High Definition (HD) cameras. The range consists of mini-dome and bullet form factors, employing state of the art broadcast quality HD media processors and operating at 30 frames per second. This delivers four times more detail than today’s most advanced HD 1080 cameras and better, more cost-effective imaging than legacy 10-megapixel cameras.

“While 10-megapixel cameras offer similar resolution to 4K cameras, the frame rate and light sensitivity of these cameras is typically low and storage costs are high, hindering their adoption. The Quasar 4K cameras from DVTEL feature new high-quality sensors that enable the cameras to operate at up to 30 frames per second, significantly upping the quality of the image entering the camera. In addition, Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) have evolved to handle larger image formats. These breakthroughs mean that users can now leverage the quality of 4K cameras for a similar cost of ownership as a 1080p deployment,” says Laurence Smith, Executive at GIT.

The DVTEL Quasar 4K cameras provide unprecedented image quality at an industry-leading 250 million pixels per second, while using up to 30 percent less storage than many HD1080 solutions. The range also incorporates an advanced low light 4K image sensor, making these cameras ideal for surveillance in a wide variety of applications. Broadcast motion processing architecture results in the lowest possible bandwidth consumption, delivering predictable storage requirements and a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

DVTEL Quasar 4K cameras offer broadcast quality video with 4K Ultra HD at full frame rate with the lowest bit rate and multi-streaming at the highest frame rates. They feature P-Iris lenses for improved image quality, and infrared (IR) illumination for high-quality imagery in low-light conditions. The cameras are also vandal resistant and are ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications. A web interface offers easy viewing and configuration for a simplified user experience.

“With crime a continuing problem across the globe, 4K Ultra HD has become the new evidentiary standard for surveillance solutions. The DVTEL Quasar 4K cameras are a cost effective Ultra HD surveillance solution that can easily handle wide variations in motion and lighting. They offer higher levels of forensic zoom and deliver greater detail out of images. This makes it ideal for applications such as casino floors, airports, city surveillance, commercial offices, university campuses, Port Authorities, shopping malls, car parks and more,” Smith concludes.

DVTEL Quasar 4K Ultra HD cameras are available immediately from GIT.

About Graphic Image Technologies

Graphic Image Technology (GIT) was formed in 1991 and specialises in remote CCTV and control room technologies as well as broadcast technologies including video playout, compression and transmission.  The company targets organisations that require CCTV technology and broadcasting companies with its solutions, delivering technology that has been specifically chosen due to its quality and best of breed status. The company features a level 2 BBEEE status.

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Beware of the perils of drunk driving this festive season

Drunk driving languages

The 2014 holiday season is upon us again and while this is generally a festive time it will have its tragic side as the number of road casualties increases.

Research shows that half of all road deaths are a result of alcohol consumption. “According to the South African law it is illegal for any person with a blood alcohol level of 0.05g or more per 100 ml to be in the driver’s seat of a vehicle,” says Gari Dombo, MD of Alexander Forbes Insurance.

Dombo explains that alcohol affects your ability to drive as it may cause:

  • Impaired vision – Drunk drivers have tunnel vision as they are less aware of peripheral zones.
  • Slower reaction time – When one is drunk it takes longer for your brain to process all of the data obtained and your ability to interpret information is reduced.
  • Lack of concentration – Drunk drivers are more likely to become side-tracked and pay less attention to road signs, pedestrians etc.
  • Bad judgement – Drinking affects your ability to judge distances between static and moving objects.

If you are convicted of drunk driving in South Africa you could face jail time, be liable for fines and culpable homicide resulting in a criminal record and your license may be suspended.

Being caught driving under the influence has other insurance implications. Your insurance premiums will probably increase as you will be considered a higher risk driver and your insurer may even refuse to renew your policy. If you do not disclose the charge or conviction to your insurer, they may also reject your future motor claims, due to non-disclosure of material information.

Dombo adds that your insurance policy excludes damage to your vehicle and third party damage or injury caused when you drive over the blood alcohol limit. Many insurers also exclude cover where it is reliably witnessed that you were under the influence, so blood alcohol limit is then irrelevant. The result would be you having to cover all expenses associated with an accident caused by drunken driving from your own pocket.

Dombo reminds the South African public to rather make use of driver services than drive home drunk.

“Should you make use of the Alexander Forbes Insurance Driver Service, which is available to all AFI policy holders, two drivers will arrive at the appointed time and you will be driven home in your own insured car followed by the vehicle that the driver arrived in,” concludes Dombo.
Also view:

Drunk Driving and Road Safety

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75 years of protection for occupants and other road users from Mercedes-Benz

Merc crash test 1

Safety engineering at Mercedes-Benz, first Mercedes-Benz crash test on 10 September 1959. Crash testing at Mercedes-Benz began with the frontal collision of a vehicle from the W 111 model series (1959 to 1965). It was the first car in the world with a shape-stable occupant cell and crumple zones at the front and rear.

Stuttgart/Böblingen.  An important chapter in the history of vehicle safety began 75 years ago when Béla Barényi joined the then Daimler-Benz AG, as the company was called then. To mark this anniversary, past and present members of the Mercedes-Benz safety development team, representing different eras of vehicle safety, met in the 'Legendenhalle' (Hall of Legends) in Böblingen.

"Pretty well everything", responded the young engineer Béla Barényi boldly, when asked at his job interview what aspects of the current Mercedes-Benz vehicle range he would improve. Wilhelm Haspel, at that time a deputy board member of Daimler-Benz AG, was won over by the unconventional thinking of the 32-year-old Austrian and took him on, at the recommendation of the then head of testing in the bodyshell development area, Karl Wilfert. On 1 August 1939 Barényi took charge of the newly established safety development department.

So began an important chapter in the history of vehicle safety, 75 years ago, with the arrival of Béla Barényi at the then Daimler-Benz AG. Ever since those days, Mercedes-Benz has had an enduring influence on safety development. Many of the company's innovations, particularly in the field of protection for vehicle occupants and other road users, have saved countless human lives over the years.

To mark this anniversary, Mercedes-Benz invited past and present members of the safety development team, representing different eras of vehicle safety, to the 'Legendenhalle' (Hall of Legends) in Böblingen. This enthralling look back over the first 75 years of providing protection for vehicle occupants and other road users brought together, amongst others, Professor Werner Breitschwerdt, Professor Ernst Fiala, Professor Guntram Huber, Dr Falk Zeidler, Hansjürgen Scholz, Dr Luigi Brambilla and Karl-Heinz Baumann. Some of them had known Barényi personally.

"Every innovation needs creative engineers who, like Barényi, are bold enough to question the status quo and to break new ground", emphasised Professor DrThomas Weber, the Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

"Our declared aim at Mercedes-Benz is to retain and extend our role as trendsetters in the field of vehicle safety and, by doing so, to continue to improve road safety", said Professor Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of Vehicle Safety at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "And we are a long way off running out of ideas in this respect. We are currently, for example, concentrating on reducing the strain on the upper torso in a side-on collision."

Merc safety 2

125 years of innovation: 1939 - Start of passenger car safety development by Béla Barényi.

Béla Barényi: the father of safety

Visionary engineer Béla Barényi (1907-1997) worked for Daimler from 1939 to 1974. He initiated more than 2500 registered patents, many of them concerned with the principles of automotive safety. Among his inventions was the safety cell, protected by crumple zones.

Béla Barényi had groundbreaking ideas early on: even as a student in the 1920s, he was working on a design for a state-of-the-art car with a tubular backbone chassis and air-cooled boxer engine. From 1939 the engineer dedicated himself to improving passenger car bodies at Mercedes-Benz. This work resulted in a 1941 patent for an improved platform frame which, owing to its particular resistance against distortion, minimised "booming and shaking".

From his studies of motor vehicles based on a cellular design, Barényi developed the concept of a stiff passenger cell with crumple zones.
Mercedes-Benz implemented the patent filed in 1951 for the first time on the W 111 model series ("Fintail") of 1959. Crumple zones deform in an accident and absorb the kinetic energy from the collision in a controlled way. At the same time, a sturdy occupant cell protects the vehicle occupants. Since that time, this structure has become an established part of passenger vehicles worldwide.

Barényi's "safety steering shaft for motor vehicles" also caught on. This technology was patented in 1963 and premiered as a complete safety steering system in the W 123 series of 1976, the predecessor to the E-Class. It took
28 years before his idea for a recessed windscreen wiper to protect pedestrians made its debut in the W 126-series S-Class of 1979.

"Always way head of his time": reminiscences from those who knew Barényi

Professor Werner Breitschwerdtjoined Daimler-Benz AG as an engineer in 1953, was appointed Board Member for Development and Research in 1977 and became Chairman of the Board in 1983. From 1988 until 1993 Professor Breitschwerdt was a member of the supervisory board:

"I joined Daimler-Benz AG as an engineer in 1953 – so at a point when Béla Barényi was already celebrating one of the highlights of his working career: the patenting of the principle of the crumple zone. I got to know Barényi as someone whose sheer tenacity, more than anything else, made him stand out from the crowd. He had so many ideas and worked ferociously hard to ensure that his ideas were also acted upon. But he was also extremely fortunate in being able to work as freely as he did at Daimler-Benz. He was given a tremendous amount of freedom - and that was right and necessary at that time, in order to drive forward the important issue of safety. Just consider: Béla Barényi was coming up with his inventions in the post-war period. There were far more pressing issues in Germany at that time than automotive safety – these were just the early days of motoring, when people were driving bubble cars or other really small cars. And yet the engineers at Daimler-Benz were already working on improving the safety of future models. Barényi was always way ahead of his time."

Professor Guntram Huber joined Daimler-Benz AG as a test engineer in 1959, becoming senior manager for passenger car body development in 1971. From 1977 until his retirement in 1997, Professor Huber was then the director of this area:

"At the time when Béla Barényi was making his important discoveries about automotive safety, there was no such thing as a crash test. Much of his work was based purely on theoretical principles – and on intuition. He would say how it had to be done, and he was right. That was the amazing thing about the man. Then, when I joined Daimler-Benz in 1959, we built the first test sled to use for safety tests: it was a really basic construction with one seat on it, operated by a pulley system. The crash zone in those early days was a pile of great big tins from the canteen kitchen. However, the first proper crash test with a vehicle soon took place, in the autumn of 1959, and we were just so full of admiration that Barényi's crumple-zone concept worked precisely as he had calculated years earlier on a purely theoretical basis."

Merc safety 3

Safety engineering at Mercedes-Benz, aided by systematic crash tests. Side-impact collision with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class model series 116, type 280 SE. Photo from 1979.

Dr Falk Zeidler worked from 1971 as a development engineer in the Mercedes accident research team, taking over as its head in 1989. In 2001 Dr Zeidler was appointed as Head of Product and Safety Analyses at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center:

"I have rarely met an engineer who had such an enquiring mind, or was as dedicated and astute as Béla Barényi. I joined the accident research team at Mercedes-Benz in 1971, so was able to work with Barényi for about a year and a half until he retired. I can still remember very clearly: when we had completed the first analyses of real-life accidents and established in the process that, in a collision, the way the steering wheel moved back into the interior was often quite different from what we had seen in crash tests, Béla Barényi spoke to me and got me to explain in great detail what we had discovered in the accident analysis. The outcome of this conversation was ultimately a new patent from Barényi for further improvements to the safety steering system – a technology that then went into series production at Mercedes-Benz in 1979."

Mercedes-Benz: setting the pace for safety

Mercedes-Benz is the pioneer of automotive safety. No other car manufacturer carries out such intensive research in this field and has brought so many crucial innovations onto the market. Ever since the invention of the motor car in 1886 Mercedes-Benz, together with its precursor brands, has been instrumental in the development of active and passive safety, setting one new benchmark after another in the process.

1900   Wilhelm Maybach develops the Mercedes 35 HP as a vehicle with exemplary road safety. Contributing factors are the long wheelbase, low centre of gravity, the engine bolted to the frame and the wide track.

1921   The Mercedes 28/95 HP is equipped with front-wheel brakes.
The other passenger car models from DMG (Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft)
and Benz & Cie. follow suit in 1923/24.

1931   The Mercedes-Benz 170 (W 15) is the first series production automobile with hydraulic braking system and independent front and rear suspension with swing axles.

1941   Patent No. 742 977 of 23 February 1941 for the platform frame developed by Béla Barényi.

1945   Béla Barényi develops the vehicle studies "Concadoro" and "Terracruiser" in this and the following years. Both studies are among the most important works leading up to the safety body with cell construction.

1949   Patent No. 827 905 of 23 April 1949 for the conical-pin safety door lock.

1952   Patent No. 854 157 of 28 February 1952 for the safety body with rigid passenger cell and crumple zones. Implemented in series production in the Mercedes-Benz W 111 model series in 1959.

1954   Single-joint pendulum axle with low pivot point in the Mercedes-Benz 220 a from the W 180 model series.

1958   Patent No. 1 089 664 of 2 July 1958 for the wedge-pin door lock.
Market launch as standard equipment in the "Fintail" models in 1959.

1959   Start of systematic crash testing and the use of dummies.

1959   Debut of the Mercedes-Benz W 111 model series ("Fintail") with safety body, softened interior and wedge-pin door lock.

1961   Gradual introduction of disc brakes and dual-circuit braking system in the passenger car range.

1966   Hans Scherenberg and Béla Barényi draft the classification into active and passive safety that will remain valid until the introduction of PRE-SAFE®.

1967   Safety steering system with telescopic steering column and impact absorber across the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car range

1971   An entire package of active and passive safety measures premieres in the Mercedes-Benz SL of the 107 model series: collision-safe fuel tank above the rear axle, thickly padded instrument panel, deformable or recessed switches and levers, four-spoke safety steering wheel with impact absorber and wide padded boss, newly developed wind deflector profiles on the A-pillars, large tail lamps with ribbed surface profile for extensive resistance to soiling.

1976   The "safety steering shaft for motor vehicles" patented by Béla Barényi in 1963 debuts in the Mercedes-Benz W 123 model series designed as a collapsible steering column.

1978   The second generation of the ABS anti-lock braking system debuts in the S-Class of the W 116 model series. Mercedes-Benz presented a first version not yet ready for series production as early as 1970. Starting in 1980 ABS is present in all model series.

1979   The Mercedes-Benz S-Class of the W 126 model series takes account of asymmetric frontal collisions with a forked-member structure of the front end.

1981   The world's first driver airbag in the S-class. Mercedes-Benz has been engaged since 1968 in research into this supplementary restraint system. Starting in 1982 the driver airbag is available in all model series, the passenger airbag follows in 1987, the side airbag in 1995.

1982   Multi-link rear suspension in the Mercedes-Benz 190 (W 201).

1989   The new SL Roadster models (R 129) make their debut with a belt system integrated into the seats, plus a rollover bar that pops up automatically if the vehicle appears to be on the verge of overturning.

1995   Rain sensor and xenon lights in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class of the 210 model series.

1995   Series introduction of the Electronic Stability Program ESP® in the S‑Class Coupé of the 140 model series.

1996   Mercedes-Benz introduces the world's first BAS Brake Assist system into series production.

1997   The sandwich floor of the W 168 model series A-Class causes the engine to glide under the passenger cell in a front-end collision.

1998   The windowbag premieres as an optional extra in the Mercedes-Benz S‑Class.

1999   Premiere of DISTRONIC proximity control.

1999   The ABC (Active Body Control) active suspension debuts in the CL coupé of the C 215 model series.

1999   Bi-xenon headlamps as standard equipment in the CL coupé of the 215 model series.

2001   Head/thorax side airbags in the SL Roadsters from Mercedes-Benz.

2002   PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system in the Mercedes‑Benz S-Class, subsequently gradually introduced in the
other model series.

2003   Active light function with bi-xenon headlamps (E-Class 211 model series).

2005   The Integral Safety Concept of Mercedes-Benz combines the various systems of active and passive safety.

2005   Mercedes-Benz introduces various safety systems in the S-Class of the W 211 model series, for example, DISTRONIC PLUS, Brake Assist BAS PLUS and Night View Assist.

2006   The Intelligent Light System ensures perfect light distribution on the road in line with the driving situation (in the E-Class of the 211 model series).

2006   Premiere of the PRE-SAFE® brake as an optional extra in the CL coupé of the 216 model series.

2007   Premiere of Blind Spot Assist as an optional extra in the S-Class and CL‑Class.

2009   Premiere of ATTENTION ASSIST in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class of the 212 model series.

2009   Crosswind stabilisation debuts in the revised Mercedes-Benz S-Class of the 221 model series as an additional function of Active Body Control (ABC). The torque vectoring brake also premieres in series production.

2010   World premiere of Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist in the CL-Class (C 216) and S-Class (W 221).

2011   Introduction of the radar-based assistance system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST in the B-Class (as standard).

2013   New assistance systems and systems with several new key functions (DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, Night View Assist Plus, ATTENTION ASSIST) in the S-Class. New PRE‑SAFE® functions (PRE-SAFE® Brake, PRE-SAFE® PLUS, PRE-SAFE® Impulse), improved protection in the rear compartment (seat belt buckle extender, belt bag).

2013   Mercedes-Benz puts Car-to-X communication on the road.

2014   The QR code sticker, which gives the emergency services direct access to a vehicle-specific rescue card becomes available as a retrofit option for older Mercedes-Benz models as well.

2014   The enhanced assistance system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS system is introduced in the compact class model family. This extends the functionality of COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST by the addition of autonomous braking to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.

Merc safety 4

Safety engineering at Mercedes-Benz, aided by systematic crash tests. Impact test at the Sindelfingen plant involving a type 220 Sb (W 111) colliding with a coach at a speed of 86 km/h, 1962. The premium model series W 111 (1959 to 1965) was the world's first vehicle with a safety body.