Mercedes-Benz, a leader in vehicle safety and innovation, has achieved a new milestone in the field of autonomous driving technology. The German automaker has announced that it will introduce its production-ready version of DRIVE PILOT in the United States, the world's first certified SAE Level 3 system for the U.S. market.
What is SAE Level 3, and what does it mean for drivers?
SAE Level 3 is a classification of automated driving systems that refers to conditional automation. This means that the system can take over all aspects of driving in certain situations, such as heavy traffic or congestion on suitable sections of the freeway, while the driver can engage in secondary activities, such as browsing the internet, watching a video, or making a phone call. However, the driver must still be present and ready to resume control when prompted by the system or when the conditions change.
SAE Level 3 differs from SAE Level 2, which is partial automation, where the system can assist the driver with steering, braking, and accelerating, but the driver must always pay attention to the road and keep their hands on the wheel. SAE Level 3 also differs from SAE Level 4 and 5, which are higher levels of automation that enable fully autonomous driving without human intervention in certain scenarios or domains.
How does DRIVE PILOT work, and what are its benefits?
DRIVE PILOT is a state-of-the-art system for conditionally automated driving that relies on a comprehensive sensor system, a powerful onboard computer, and high-definition maps. The sensor system includes cameras, radars, lidars, and ultrasonic sensors that monitor the surrounding environment and detect other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, road signs, lane markings, and other relevant features. The onboard computer processes the data from the sensors and controls the vehicle's actions, such as steering, braking, accelerating, changing lanes, or stopping. The high-definition maps provide detailed information about the road geometry, traffic rules, speed limits, and other features that help the system plan its route and maneuvers.
DRIVE PILOT can handle the dynamic driving task up to a speed of 37 mph (60 km/h) on suitable sections of freeway that are clearly separated from oncoming traffic and pedestrians. The system can initiate, maintain, change, or end the conditionally automated driving mode, depending on the situation. The system constantly communicates with the driver through visual, auditory, and haptic signals that indicate when the system is active, when it needs the driver to resume control, or when it is bringing the vehicle to a safe stop on the shoulder.
Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot is designed to enhance safety, comfort, and convenience for drivers and passengers alike. The system can reduce driver stress and fatigue by taking over the tedious and monotonous task of driving in traffic jams or congestion. The system can also improve traffic flow and efficiency by maintaining a smooth and steady speed and distance from other vehicles. The system can prevent accidents and collisions by reacting faster and more accurately than human drivers to potential hazards or emergencies. The system can also provide a more enjoyable and productive driving experience by allowing drivers to use their freed-up time for entertainment or work purposes.
When and where will DRIVE PILOT be available?
Mercedes-Benz will launch DRIVE PILOT in late 2023 with a limited fleet of EQS Sedans equipped with SAE Level 3 functionality in California and Nevada. These two states have confirmed that DRIVE PILOT complies with their regulations and requirements for automated driving systems. Mercedes-Benz plans to expand DRIVE PILOT to other states and markets in the future, as well as to other models in its lineup.
The EQS Sedan is the flagship model of Mercedes-Benz's electric vehicle portfolio. It offers a luxurious and futuristic design that combines aerodynamics, aesthetics, and sustainability. It features a spacious and comfortable interior that is inspired by nature and technology. It boasts a high-performance and efficient powertrain that delivers up to 516 horsepower (combined) and an EPA-estimated electric range of 350 miles (††). It also offers a range of advanced features and services that enhance connectivity, convenience, security, and entertainment.
One of the most distinctive features of the Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan is the MBUX Hyperscreen, a massive curved screen that spans across the entire dashboard and provides intuitive access to various functions and applications. The MBUX Hyperscreen consists of three displays: one for the driver, one for the passenger, and one for the central infotainment system. The MBUX Hyperscreen uses artificial intelligence to learn from the user's preferences and habits and to offer personalized suggestions and options.
How does Mercedes-Benz shape the future of mobility?
Mercedes-Benz is committed to shaping the future of mobility with its vision of CASE: Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric. With DRIVE PILOT, Mercedes-Benz has taken another step towards realizing this vision and delivering its promise of "The best or nothing."
DRIVE PILOT is a groundbreaking innovation that showcases Mercedes-Benz's expertise and leadership in the field of autonomous driving technology. It is the result of years of research and development, testing and validation, and collaboration and dialogue with various stakeholders, such as regulators, authorities, customers, and partners. It is also a testament to Mercedes-Benz's dedication and responsibility to ensure the highest standards of safety, quality, and reliability for its products and services.
DRIVE PILOT is more than just a system for conditionally automated driving. It is a system that transforms the way people drive and travel. It is a system that offers a new level of freedom, comfort, and convenience for drivers and passengers. It is a system that creates a new dimension of mobility, efficiency, and sustainability for society and the environment.
DRIVE PILOT is the future of driving. And it is coming soon to the United States with the Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan. @via Panorica.