Mercedes-Benz S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE – autonom durch Ɯberland- und Stadtverkehr Mercedes-Benz S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE – autonomously through country roads and inner-city traffic

Mercedes-Benz has made history by becoming the first automaker to receive government approval in the US for a Level 3 automated driving feature. The company’s Drive Pilot system has been approved for use in Nevada, but only at speeds up to 40 mph. With this new technology, drivers will be able to take their hands off the steering wheel and feet off the pedals under certain conditions but will still need to keep their face visible to the car’s in-car cameras at all times.

The Drive Pilot feature allows the car to do all the driving, but the driver must be ready to take control at a moment’s notice. This is similar to other “hands-free” highway driving systems, like GM’s Super Cruise, Ford’s BlueCruise, and Tesla’s Autopilot. However, Mercedes’ Level 3 system has a little more leniency, allowing drivers to turn their head to talk to a passenger or play a game on the car’s infotainment screen.

This technology is a breakthrough in the automotive industry, as it is the first Level 3 automated driving feature to be approved in the US. However, it is worth noting that Level 3 systems still come with their own set of risks. Most autonomous vehicle operators, including Waymo and Cruise, have said that they believe Level 3 is too dangerous, and prefer to work exclusively on Level 4 technology. The reason for this is that drivers are still required to stay attentive, despite the vehicle performing most of the driving tasks.

Mercedes is not the only automaker pursuing Level 3 technology. Ford, Audi, BMW, and Volvo have all said that they are working on their own Level 3 systems, with California seen as the next frontier for testing and deployment. Mercedes hopes to receive approval to begin offering its Level 3 system to drivers in California later this year.

The introduction of Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot system marks a significant step forward in the advancement of automated driving technology. While there are still risks associated with Level 3 systems, this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we drive and make our roads safer.

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