Tips and advice

What is Mercedes Parktronic?

Here’s everything you need to know about Mercedes’ Parktronic and Active Parking Assist systems

What is Mercedes Parktronic?

Mercedes’ Parktronic system is part of the brand’s parking pack, which is intended to make manoeuvring less stressful. It’s standard on some models but available as an option on others at extra cost. Much like traditional parking sensors, the Parktronic aspect of the package warns the driver of obstacles in front of and behind the car but specifically when parallel parking.

Self-driving cars: all you need to know

Parktronic, which depends on sensors in the front and rear bumpers to determine whether or not it can fit into a space, is now often combined with ‘Active Parking Assist’, which controls the steering to make parallel parking much easier. Both are part of the current parking package on Mercedes cars, which also consists of a reversing camera, featuring a 180° or 360° camera view (depending on the model), and arrows to display available spaces suitable for your car’s size on the instrument cluster.

How does Parktronic work?

Parktronic is both a safety and convenience feature that can help you find, park and get out of tight parallel parking spaces. On its own, Parktronic shows you the correct steering wheel positions on the instrument cluster so that you can park quickly and easily in one attempt, helping you to avoid those potentially embarrassing parking manoeuvres that are often ‘celebrated’ on YouTube!

Parktronic is based on tried-and-tested parking sensor technology, with six ultrasound sensors at the front of the car and four at the rear. These provide audible warning noises and visual signals to the driver via the instrument cluster to alert them of pedestrians or obstacles. While the system is extremely helpful, it should never be solely depended upon; just like regular parking sensors, this is a driver aid designed to make parking easier; it’s not foolproof and some obstacles might not be detected via the sensors, so it’s important you still pay full attention when manoeuvring.

How does Active Parking Assist work?

‘Active Parking Assist with Parktronic’ is an extension of the standalone Parktronic technology, which actively and autonomously controls the steering wheel as you park, rather than simply providing instructions. Control of the throttle and brake pedals, as well as the gears, is still down to the driver, however. New Mercedes vehicles tend to be fitted with both technologies but Active Parking Assist can be switched off at any time by pressing the Parktronic button on the dashboard.

How do you use Parktronic and Active Parking Assist?

Once the Parktronic feature is selected, the Active Parking Assist system can search for a parallel parking space that’s big enough for your car and will begin the parking process once a suitable space has been found. As the driver, you will need to put the car into reverse when prompted, which turns on the rear-view camera. Active Parking Assist and Parktronic work simultaneously, with the former controlling the steering and the latter warning you of obstacles, so that you can brake and accelerate when necessary.

Which Mercedes models have Parktronic?

The parking package, which contains Active Parking Assist with Parktronic, as well as the reversing camera, is available as standard or as an option across the Mercedes range, from A-Class to S-Class models.

Do you want to know more about new car safety technology? Why not read our in-depth explainer about the safest cars you can buy now. Or check out our guide to the Top 10 best self-parking cars.

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