Active and passive safety of vehicles

Active safety in vehicles includes emergency braking systems, for example, that help to reduce the severity of — or even entirely prevent — accidents. Passive safety, on the other hand, refers to measures that take effect during or after a collision in order to mitigate the accident’s consequences.


Aggregates are materials that are added to a mixture in order to have a positive effect on their properties. For example, crushed natural or artificial rock is used to make concrete and asphalt.

Airflow control

Airflow control systems regulate the volume of incoming and outgoing air in ventilation systems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to computer systems that have features of human intelligence. AI systems can, for example, learn independently, draw conclusions or improve themselves.


Employees that are on international assignments. This includes employees who come from abroad and are on international assignments in Germany, employees who come from Germany and are on international assignments abroad, and employees who come from a country outside of Germany and are on international assignments in another country outside of Germany.

Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS)

UN Regulation 157 for Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) describes the minimum functional requirements that a conditionally automated system has to fulfil so that a motorist does not have to continuously monitor its operation while driving. The main focus is on regulating the necessary and permissible interaction between the driver and the system. Examples include the handover of driving operation as well as the behaviour of a conditionally automated system while it performs driving tasks (e.g. the way it reacts to unexpected incidents).

Base load

With regard to power supply, the base load is the minimum amount of electric power that has to be generated in order to ensure grid stability.

Bonus-malus systems

Bonus-malus systems serve to influence the behaviour of contractual partners through positive or negative incentives. If contractual obligations are met, this behaviour is rewarded with a bonus. However, if contractual obligations are not met, this behaviour is penalised with reductions in benefits.

California Air Resources Board (CARB)

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is an organisation of the State of California. CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants.

Catalytic converter

Catalytic converters are used for exhaust treatment in combustion-engine vehicles. They can greatly reduce pollutant emissions.

Circular economy

The circular economy is an approach in which existing materials and products are used, repaired, reused or recycled for as long as possible in order to extend their life cycle. This minimises waste and the need for primary raw materials. The circular economy is seen as the counter-model to linear economies, in which materials and products are often only used once. In a circular economy, the later recycling of the processed materials is already considered during a product’s design phase.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The Clean Development Mechanism (for environmentally compatible development) was introduced as part of the Kyoto Protocol in order to make it easier for industrialised countries to achieve their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time promote technology transfer to developing countries. The mechanism enables emission reduction measures to be implemented in developing countries and the resulting decreases to be certified. The corresponding certificates (Certified Emission Reductions/CER) can be credited to the reduction targets of the industrialised countries.

Climate Pledge

The Climate Pledge is a voluntary commitment by companies to fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change ten years earlier than prescribed. The companies who have taken this pledge promise to make their business CO2 neutral by 2040. The Climate Pledge was created in 2020 by Amazon and Global Optimism.

Closed loop

This refers to the aspiration to close product and raw material loops in order to create a resource-conserving circular economy. Closed-loop recycling aims to put the raw materials that are contained in end-of-life products back into the raw materials loop so that they can be used to make new products.

CO2 fleet compliance

In addition to limits that individual vehicle models may not exceed for their type approval (e.g. regarding pollutant emissions), the EU also sets CO2 fleet compliance requirements in terms of a limit value based on the average weight of a manufacturer’s fleet. The manufacturer’s fleet of new vehicles may not exceed this limit.

Code of conduct

A company’s code of conduct provides employees with guidance and encompasses guidelines for responsible, ethical and legally compliant behaviour. In most cases, the guidelines also apply to third parties such as business partners and suppliers.

Concept safety

In this context, concept safety means that the integration of high-voltage components has been carried out from the very start so as to achieve a high level of safety.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) refers to a legally stipulated minimum for the average fuel economy of a vehicle fleet in the United States. Automakers have to achieve the CAFE standards for their fleets of cars and light trucks in order to be able to sell vehicles in the United States. The limits are recalculated each year.

Customer journey

The customer journey refers to the various stages of a (potential) customer’s interaction with a product, brand or company via various touchpoints.

Data Governance Act

The Data Governance Act aims to facilitate innovation in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and mobility. To do so, it seeks to make data more readily available and usable. At the same time, the legislator wants to create the conditions (and a secure environment) for the trustworthy sharing of data. In November 2021, the lead negotiators of the European Council and the European Parliament agreed on a preliminary draft of the act.


Decarbonisation is the switch to a carbon-free economy.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a segment of Artificial Intelligence. It is a machine learning method in which artificial neural networks help an algorithm learn to recognise interconnections within a large pool of data.

Degree of motorisation

The degree of motorisation is the ratio between the number of motor vehicles/cars and the number of inhabitants.

Desk analysis

A desk analysis is secondary research in which existing information or the results of earlier surveys are used. This means that data can be collected and analysed from a desk. Sources of such secondary data are, for example, libraries or online databases.

Dry/wet separation technologies

Paint separation systems are technologies that can bind excess paint particles that are released into the air when vehicles are painted. Wet separation uses water to clean the air. Dry separation is a more environmentally friendly variant in which a dry binding substance (e.g. stone dust) is used in order to reduce the amount of water and chemicals that are needed.

Due diligence

In general, due diligence processes involve careful examinations, analyses and assessments of a company. Human rights due diligence encompasses measures that a company employs in order to detect and counteract human rights-related risks in its business operations, its supply chain and the services it uses.

Electric intelligence

A navigation system that employs electric intelligence uses a large number of factors to plan the fastest and most convenient route, including the charging stops, and responds dynamically to situations such as traffic jams or changes in driving behaviour.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters and the protection of human health.

ESG criteria

The acronym ESG stands for Environment, Social and Governance. Within the context of sustainable finance, this abbreviation is used when investment decisions take into account environmental, social and responsible governance aspects.

Ethics by design

The “ethics by design” principle refers to the consideration of ethical questions during the development of products — for example, those involving the use of Artificial Intelligence.

EU taxonomy

EU taxonomy (also referred to as Sustainable Finance Taxonomy) is a classification system that was developed by the European Commission in order to create a shared understanding of the sustainability of business operations within the EU. The aim is to assess business activities throughout the EU according to their sustainability in order to facilitate corresponding financial decisions.

Euro 6d standard

The Euro 6d standard went into effect in January 2021. This emissions standard is valid for newly registered cars and specifies stricter limits for the real emission of air pollutants than the previous standard, Euro 6d-TEMP.

Euro 6d-TEMP standard

The Euro 6d-TEMP standard is a temporary emissions standard that has applied to new vehicle models since September 2018 and that sets limits for pollutant emissions into the atmosphere. The RDE procedure was introduced at the same time as the new standard. The more stringent Euro 6d emissions standard went into effect in 2021.

European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)

The European Union Emissions Trading System is a climate-protection tool for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A government-stipulated upper limit states how many tons of CO2 may be emitted in total. A company needs an emission allowance for every ton of CO2. These emission allowances can be freely traded on the market. However, the number of these allowances is limited. This results in a price for CO2 emissions in order to give companies an incentive to reduce their emissions.

Fair-value-based repairs

Fair-value-based repairs are a repair solution that accords with a vehicle’s age and thus its current value. Such repairs employ used — and thus cost-efficient — Mercedes-Benz parts.

Feed-in tariff

Energy producers who feed electricity from renewable energies into the public grid receive a feed-in tariff. It is financed by the consumers via the electricity price and serves to also make energy offers marketable if they cannot compete with fossil forms of energy generation via the market price alone.

Gold Standard

The Gold Standard is the highest quality standard for carbon offsetting projects. Gold Standard projects not only avoid CO2, they also contribute to the project location’s sustainable environmental and social development. The Gold Standard was developed under the direction of the WWF and with the assistance of the German Ministry of the Environment.

Green bonds

Green bonds are securities with a fixed interest rate. They are used to raise capital for sustainable projects such as those promoting renewable sources of energy and sustainable mobility solutions.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol)

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (or GHG Protocol for short) is currently the most commonly used series of accounting standards for greenhouse gas emissions.

High-voltage disconnect device

A high-voltage disconnect device is a safety precaution in electric vehicles that deactivates high-voltage systems. When this system is activated, the residual voltage outside of the battery in a high-voltage system is automatically brought to a non-critical level within a few seconds.

Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) was created in response to the global demand for socially acceptable and environmentally compatible mining. IRMA provides independent inspections and certifications according to a comprehensive standard for mined raw materials. The standard covers the entire spectrum of risks associated with the effects of industrial mining.

Intrinsic safety

Intrinsic safety is a technical property of a system or device. Special designs ensure that even a breakdown does not cause a dangerous situation to occur.

Live traffic information

Live traffic information systems supply vehicles with traffic data in real time.

Load case

A load case refers to the configuration of a crash test. This includes the number, type and positioning of the crash test dummies on board the vehicle as well as the parameters of the collision configuration, e.g. type of collision, velocity and impact angle.

Lock-in effect

The lock-in effect describes a customer’s dependency on a single supplier. The effect is caused by barriers, such as high costs, which make changing providers difficult or uneconomical for the customer.

Machine learning

Computer programs that use machine learning can independently solve problems with the help of algorithms. Machine learning is an element of Artificial Intelligence.

Malicious code

Malicious code or malware refers to computer programs developed to carry out damaging tasks such as stealing passwords or other sensitive data.

Management levels

The managers of the organisational hierarchy of the Mercedes-Benz Group are divided into the management levels 1 through 5. Level 5 is the lowest of these levels, while Level 1 is the highest. Above it is only the Board of Management level.


The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a legally prescribed testing process for measuring the fuel consumption and emissions of vehicles. This process was replaced by the WLTP test procedure as of 1 September 2017.

Net zero

Net zero means that a company’s net greenhouse gas emissions are zero over a defined period of time. This is achieved by reducing avoidable emissions and offsetting the remaining emissions. Reducing emissions to net zero is necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Notice of violation

A notice of violation is a written notification from a government agency about a violation of the law.


Based in Paris, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation encompassing 37 member countries that are committed to democracy and a market economy.


The abbreviation OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. In the context of the automotive industry, the term OEM is used for companies that produce complete vehicles from components they manufacture themselves or procure from third parties and sell the vehicles on the market.

Partial load

Partial load refers to a machine’s mean operating condition between full load (100 per cent of possible output) and no load (the machine is switched off).

Partner protection

Partner protection refers to the protection of occupants in the respective other vehicle during traffic accidents that involve two vehicles.

Peak loads

Peak loads occur in power grids, for example, when energy demand suddenly increases steeply for a short period of time. In order to meet this demand and ensure that supply is uninterrupted, more electricity has to be fed into the grid at short notice. This can be done by means of battery storage devices, for example, or by pumped-storage electrical power stations.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has a hybrid drive system whose battery can be charged either by a combustion engine or by the power grid.


The term post-fossil is made up of “post” (Latin “after”) and “fossil” and stands for a future era in which dependence on fossil fuels has been overcome.

Privacy by design

Privacy by design is data protection by means of technology design. The basic principle of the approach is that personal data can be best protected if software and hardware are designed and developed to comply with data protection regulations from the very start.

Rated thermal input

The rated thermal input stands for the thermal energy that can be fed to a furnace system in continuous operation by burning fuel. After energy losses are subtracted, the result shows the thermal output of the respective heating system.

Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing method

The RDE testing method is a measurement procedure for testing the actual emissions behaviour of vehicles in road traffic under real-life conditions.

Rebound effect

The rebound effect occurs when a measure to save energy and other resources — for example through its impact on consumer behaviour — leads to an increase in consumption elsewhere. This effect can cause the intended savings goals to be missed in the overall balance or consumption even to increase.

Record of processing activities

A record of processing activities is an overview of a company’s processes for processing personal data that falls under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This record documents all of the relevant information about the processing of personal data (for example).


Recyclates are secondary raw materials that are recovered during the recycling of plastics that were disposed of at least once previously. They are subsequently used to manufacture new products.

Remuneration framework agreement (ERA)

The remuneration framework agreement (ERA) is the collective bargaining agreement for the standardised regulation of employee remuneration in Germany’s metal and electrical industries.

Rescue data sheets

Rescue data sheets contain a standardised depiction of technical information that is relevant for rescue workers. They cover specific vehicle models and make it easier for rescue workers to do their job at an accident site.

Residual energy

Residual energy can be present in the cables of switched-off machines. This can become dangerous if residual electrical or mechanical energy leads to sudden machine movements, for example.

Restraint systems

Restraint systems are in-vehicle safety systems that keep the vehicle occupants in their seats when the vehicle suddenly decelerates. Seatbelts and airbags are examples of such systems.


Ride-hailing refers to a form of mobility in which a person uses an app to request a vehicle and driver for a transport service. Unlike the case with ridesharing, the vehicle is not generally shared with other passengers.


In the field of law, a rights-holder is a person or other legal entity (organisation or living organism) that has specific, legally recognised rights. With regard to human rights, the rights-holders are all human beings, irrespective of their personal characteristics.

Roller test rig

A roller test rig is an instrument for testing various performance aspects of a vehicle. To do this, the vehicle’s wheels are attached to a roller to enable the simulation of acceleration effects. This allows drive and braking power to be measured, for example, as well as emissions.

Roller test rig hour

A roller test rig hour (or simply “test rig hour”) refers to the length of time that a vehicle was operated on a roller test rig.

SAE Level/automated and autonomous driving

Automated driving features help drivers or perform tasks that motorists used to do on their own. There are five different levels of automation: Driver Assistance (SAE Level 1), Partial Automation (SAE Level 2), Conditional Automation (SAE Level 3), High Automation (SAE Level 4) and Full Automation (SAE Level 5). The degree of automation increases with each level and the driving responsibility that the driver has declines accordingly.

Science Based Targets initiative

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTI) is a joint initiative of the CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It aims to encourage companies to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the level of decarbonisation that scientists are calling for in order to limit global warming to less than 1.5 °C/2 °C compared to preindustrial temperatures.

Shop floor management

Shop floor management refers to the management of manufacturing and value-added processes by managers who are physically present and active on site.

Sled testing

Sled tests are crash tests in which a vehicle does not collide with a wall or other object. Instead, the vehicle body and the components to be tested are mounted onto a sled that is then suddenly braked. As a result, there is no actual collision.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is a non-profit organisation in the United States that has developed sector-specific standards for sustainability reporting.


Unlike the more comprehensive well-to-wheel assessment, tank-to-wheel assessments take into account the chain of cause and effect from the time energy (e.g. petrol or electricity) is put into a vehicle until it is converted into kinetic energy during driving.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a corporate reporting initiative that was created by the Financial Stability Board. Its long-term goal is to incorporate climate-related opportunities and risks into companies’ business and financial reports. To this end, it published recommendations in 2017 on how businesses should conduct uniform climate reporting.

Tier 1

Tier 1 refers to the first upstream stage of the value chain, i.e. the direct suppliers. The other stages of the value chain (all the sub-suppliers) are referred to as tier 2 to tier n suppliers.

Tufted velour

In the automotive industry, floor mats are inserted in the footwell of vehicles. These mats are made of either textiles or rubber. Textile floor mats are typically made of polypropylene, polyamide or polyester fibres. They are available as tufted velour, needle felt or non-woven fabric mats. We primarily use tufted velour for our Mercedes-Benz cars. Tufting is a technique for the production of high-quality interior linings for automobiles.


A turbocompressor is a machine that can compress air. Compressed air is used, for example, to drive machines in industrial production. Unlike “normal” compressors, turbocompressors are structured like a turbine and have aerodynamic properties, which make them especially energy-efficient.

UN Global Compact

The United Nations (UN) Global Compact is a pact concluded between companies and the UN in order to make globalisation more socially and environmentally friendly. The companies regularly report to the UN on the progress they make.

UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

The six UN Principles for Responsible Investment were initiated by an international investor network. They aim to make it easier to understand the effects of investment activities on ESG issues and help the signatories to take ESG criteria into account in their investment decisions.

Underfloor SCR catalytic converter

Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) refers to a technology for reducing nitrogen oxides in exhaust gases. An underfloor SCR catalytic converter is used for the after-treatment of vehicle exhaust. It employs chemical reactions to convert the pollutants in the exhaust gas into non-toxic substances.

Unsprung mass

The unsprung mass refers to the components of a vehicle that are affected by direct impacts on the carriageway. These components include the tyres, rims, brakes and wheel bearings.

Vehicle class N1

Class N1 vehicles are motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tons and at least four wheels. They are used to transport goods or for another special purpose. Class N1 also includes motor vehicles for passenger transport if they contain no more than eight passenger seats.

Waste hierarchy

A waste hierarchy defines the various approaches for handling waste and prioritises them. The most important measures are those that are especially environmentally compatible. The EU’s Waste Framework Directive defines the following five hierarchy levels:

  1. Prevention
  2. Preparing for reuse
  3. Recycling
  4. Other recovery, especially incineration for the generation of energy and use as a filling material
  5. Disposal


A well-to-tank assessment considers everything from the generation of the primary energy (oil, natural gas, electricity etc.) to its provision for use in the vehicle.

Well-to-wheel (WtW)

A well-to-wheel assessment takes into account not only driving operation (as is the case with a tank-to-wheel assessment) but also the production of the energy carrier, such as electricity or petrol.


The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) is an international measurement technique for determining how much fuel a vehicle consumes and whether its emissions stay within the prescribed limits. The WLTP replaced the former measurement procedure NEDC on 1 September 2017.

The WLTP cycle is a new driving cycle for measuring emissions that more accurately depicts current driving profiles. It is used to determine certification values for each vehicle on the basis of mass, air resistance, rolling resistance and optional equipment. The assessment includes a test under real-life driving conditions (RDE).


The suffixes “TML” and “TMH” refer to the range of possible assessments that a vehicle can undergo in the WLTP measurement process. The values for aerodynamics, rolling resistance and vehicle mass change depending on the optional equipment used. These circumstances are taken into account in the WLTP cycle. TML (test mass low) stands for the most favourable and TMH (test mass high) for the least favourable case.


Mercedes-Benz AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 7 11 17-0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Jörg Burzer, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Sabine Kohleisen, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Court of Registry: Stuttgart; commercial register no. 762873
VAT ID: DE 32 12 81 763