In ambitious move, Mercedes puts driverless S-Class to road test

A number of car makers are testing driverless technology but Mercedes Benz is now putting select group of people inside an S-Class luxury sedan minus a driver.
By HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 10 Dec 2019, 10:13 AM
Representational photo courtesy Mercedes Benz USA.
Representational photo courtesy Mercedes Benz USA.

One of the priciest offerings from a luxury car maker would usually command every safety measure to be adopted from behind the wheels. Mercedes, however, is all set to bring out and test an S-Class minus any human intervention from the steering.

CNET recently reported that Mercedes and Bosch have begun working on a test mule of an autonomous S-Class that would transport people in San Jose, California.

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It is also reported that only a select group of people would be given the facility of being inside the luxury - and uber expensive - sedan which would drive itself completely.

That an S-Class has been chosen for these trial runs is both surprising and maybe not. An S-Class is usually a chauffer-driven luxury sedan around the world and Mercedes may have felt that owners would lap up the idea of being driven around minus human intervention. The price point at which the S-Class comes at, however, makes it one of the most expensive vehicles to be tested for autonomous driving anywhere.

Crashing the test S-Class may not be too likely because these cars in San Jose will have a fall-back test driver - also called IFTD, who would jump into action only if required.

According to reports, the test driverless S-Class have already begun doing the rounds of the city and the findings of the pilot project could have a number of benefits - ranging from how the S-Class itself performs without human input to negotiating tight spaces in San Jose's urban setting.

First Published Date: 10 Dec 2019, 10:12 AM IST

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