Mike Stevens | Nov 2, 2012

The all-new S-Class will launch with a new pedestrian detection feature that combines radar and camera systems, improving the technology's strike rate.

As it does in offerings from brands like Volvo and Volkswagen, the system will initially use radar to detect potential obstacles on the road ahead.

Then, like Subaru's Eyesight technology, the system will then use cameras to more efficiently interpret and recognise whether the obstacle is real and potentially dangerous.

The carmaker says that the addition of the camera technology will ensure that its PreSafe system is less likely to activate the automatic braking function unnecessarily.

The car's Emegency Brake assist will also be a more advanced package than in current models, allowing automatic braking to activate at speeds up to 70km, compared to 30km/h in its current form.

The system will work together with Emergency Steer Assist, helping the driver to safely swerve around an obstacle when appropriate.

Developed together with Continental, Mercedes says the combined system is the first of its kind.

When will we see the new S-Class?

It was believed that Mercedes would reveal the new S-Class at September's Paris Motor Show, but Mercedes instead showed off its Aesthetics S sculpture, offering a first official preview of the new flagship.

At this stage, it is likely we will see the new model at next year's Geneva Motor Show in March.

Little else is known about the new S-Class, although reports out of Europe suggest the big saloon's engine range will include a V12, V6 and V8 - all twin-turbocharged.

Hybrid options will also exist, and the range of hybrid powertrains is expected to grow. Currently, only one hybrid model exists in the W221 S-Class line up - the S 400 Bluehybrid.

The all-new "W222" S-Class is expected to launch later this year with the short-wheelbase model, to be followed by the long-wheelbase limousine in 2013.

A coupe and a four-door convertible variant are also rumoured to be in the works, however it's unlikely we'll hear more about these until next year.

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