Mercedes has become the first automaker in the world to receive approval to put its Level 3 autonomous tech on public roads…
Mercedes’ Autonomous Tech Approved
In a world first, Mercedes has won approval from a government to put its Level 3 autonomous technology on public roads; representing a major milestone for driverless vehicles. The new technology, which will release early next year, will be available in the EQS and S-Class saloons. However, there will still be some limitations in how the technology is used by drivers.
When it’s launched, the Level 3 technology (called Drive Pilot) will only be available in Germany. Moreover, motorists will only be able to activate it when they’re in slow-moving traffic on the nation’s autobahns; up to speeds of around 37mph. Whilst this hardly represents a revolution, Mercedes claims it’s ideal for carrying out ancillary tasks” such as sending emails or playing with an infotainment system’s settings.
The Level3 system uses cameras, GPS and LiDAR sensors in order to function. It even has a moisture sensor, allowing the system to respond to poor road conditions. It’s also capable of detecting blue lights, typically used by emergency vehicles, moving the vehicle out of their way.
What Matters Most? Time
Markus Schafer, Mercedes’s chief technology officer, commented on the significance of the Level 3 system. He said, “for many years, we have been working to realise our vision of automated driving. With this LiDAR based system, we have developed an innovative technology for our vehicles that offers customers a unique, luxurious driving experience and gives them what matters most: time”.
“With the approval of the authorities, we have now achieved a breakthrough: We are the first manufacturer to put conditionally automated driving into series production in Germany. We are once again proving our pioneering work in automated driving and also initiating a radical paradigm shift”.
He added, “for the first time in 136 years of automotive history, the vehicle takes over the dynamic driving task under certain conditions. At the same time, we are pleased that Germany is continuing its pioneering role in automated driving with this approval”.
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