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Mercedes-Benz Gets Level 3 Automated Driving Approval In The U.S.

Mercedes-Benz has received approval to introduce Drive Pilot, its Level 3 automated driving system to select gasoline and electric models in the United States. At CES 2023, the company announced that the Nevada State Department of Motor Vehicles had approved its request to introduce Drive Pilot and that a certificate of compliance would be issued soon. It added that the California DMV was also reviewing its proposal. Mercedes also shared that Active Lane Change would be available for its Level 2 assisted driving technology as an expansion of its capabilities.

In a press release, Mercedes-Benz has now confirmed that it has received Drive Pilot approval in Nevada, becoming the first automaker to provide U.S. customers with Level 3 autonomous driving. This means that users can legally relinquish control of the vehicle, as Drive Pilot can handle the various tasks associated with driving. However, it works only in select conditions, and drivers must be ready to regain control should it be necessary. Drive Pilot will be available for use in the 2024 EQS and S-Class models. The first batch will be shipped later this year.

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The gap between Level 2 and Level 3 of autonomous driving is quite significant, seeing as how the latter enables users to do other things while the system drives the car. While the road to complete autonomy still has a long way to go, Mercedes has taken a significant step in that direction. At the moment, Drive Pilot is designed to operate at speeds of up to 40 mph. It will request control of the vehicle only when traveling on acceptable freeways or roads with a high traffic density. Once enabled, Drive Pilot handles the speed, maintains a healthy distance from other cars, and controls the steering.

It also adapts to unplanned traffic situations using techniques like braking maneuvers or cautiously avoiding a crash with cars in its lane. Aside from steering and acceleration, safety is equally integrated into the technology. Drive Pilot borrows sensors from Mercedes’ Level 2 system called Driver Assistance and brings some new ones to optimize operational performance. They comprise LiDar, a camera positioned in the rear window, microphones for recognizing oncoming vehicles, and a road wetness sensor in the wheel. Drive Pilot runs on a high-end chipset that enables the computerized driving software to function.

One of the future trends of mobility is the use of technology in automating driving tasks. Many cars have a suite of sensors and radar intended to reduce the risk of collisions by ensuring drivers don’t stray from their lane while regulating the car’s speed. The capabilities of an intelligent driving system depend on its level of autonomy, and nearly all the options in the market are classified as Level 2. Mercedes-Benz has now surpassed the competition with Drive Pilot, and this should encourage more buyers to switch to its vehicles this year.

More: How 12 Automakers’ Driving Assistance Systems Fared In CR’s Latest Rankings

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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