While Mercedes-Benz isn’t ready to reveal the W222 S-Class facelift just yet, the German brand is willing to share some details about what’s new on its flagship sedan. Here, the company is focusing on the S-Class driving assistance system that are under its ‘Intelligent Drive’ umbrella term.

“The new S-Class raises Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level. We are approaching the goal of automated driving more purposefully and faster than many people suspect. From the autumn, the new S-Class will be able to support its driver considerably better than all systems which have been available to date,” says Michael Hafner, head of automated driving and active safety at Mercedes-Benz.

Enhanced camera and radar systems help to support the expanded functionality of some of the S-Class’ automated driving functions, allowing it to have a better view of the traffic situation around it. Furthermore, the S-Class will for the first time, make use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour as well.

Mercedes-Benz also provided a detailed list of the individual functions that will be made available on the new S-Class, beginning with Active Distance Assist Distronic. On highways, the system controls the distance from the vehicle ahead within a speed range from 0 to 210 km/h, and keeps the car on track. The S-Class is now also capable of longer stops of up to 30 seconds in the stop-and-go traffic, where it automatically follows the traffic ahead.

However, the speed preset in Distronic is reduced according to the route ahead of bends, junctions, roundabouts or toll booths, then increased back up when clear. The reduction in speed is done in varying degrees, depending on the selected transmission mode (Eco, Comfort or Sport). According to Mercedes, the function allows for automated driving for longer periods on country roads.

Next up, Active Lane Change Assist allows drivers to change lanes on multi-lane roads at speeds from 80-180 km/h by simply engaging the indicator stalk. The car will use its sensor system within the next ten seconds to see if the lane is clear before the driver is supported in changing lane. The initiated lane change is indicated in the instrument cluster and on the head-up display.

Active Speed Limit Assist, a subfunction of Traffic Sign Assist recognises sign gantries and signs, working with Active Distance Assist Distronic to adapt the vehicle’s speed corresponding to the recognised speed limits. It also identifies fixed speed limits based on data from the navigation system.

New functions also include Evasive Steering Assist that helps the driver to evade pedestrians in the car’s danger zone; Car-to-X Communication that alerts other drivers on impending hazardous conditions; Remote Parking Assist (seen on the W213 E-Class), where drivers can manoeuvre the vehicle into tight parking spaces or garages via a smartphone app; and Pre-Safe Sound (also found on the W213 E-Class).

Then there’s Active Emergency Stop Assist, which brakes the vehicle to a standstill in its lane if it detects that the driver is no longer actively driving the vehicle while it is on the move. This function requires Active Steering Assist to be switched on, and will prompt the driver via numerous visual and audible methods

Should no action be taken by the driver, the car will be slowed down in the identified lane until it comes to a standstill, whereby the parking brake is engaged automatically, the doors are unlocked and the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system is activated. At speeds below 60 km/h, surrounding traffic is warned by the system with the activation of the hazard lights.

Other returning functions include Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Parking Assist, the former of which now comes with cross-traffic support and full autonomous emergency braking for vehicles and pedestrians.

Outside these systems, the new S-Class’ Multibeam LED headlights will feature an Ultra Range high beam function too. The accompanying interior photos provided also show the car’s revamped dashboard, where the dual 12.3-inch display screens have been modified to look like one large central display screen. A new steering wheel with Touch Controls (as seen on the W213 E-Class) can roughly be made out from the blacked out section of the images as well.

No official word on when the new S-Class will debut, with rumours indicating it could be as soon as this month at either the New York International Auto Show or Auto Shanghai.

GALLERY: W222 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and S63 AMG facelift