Mercedes-Benz becomes world's first to get Level 3 autonomous driving approval
Mercedes-Benz has become the first automotive company in the world to meet the necessary requirements for approval of the Level 3 autonomous driving system. The approval has been granted by UN-R157 which is a United Nation regulation body that sets the standard of Level 3 autonomous driving technology in vehicles.
The luxury automaker informed that this automated driving technology called DRIVE PILOT will be available in S-Class and EQS models in the first half of 2022. The first customers of these cars will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode at the speed of 60 kmph in heavy traffic or congested situations or stretches. The special DRIVE PILOT equipment will take the strain off the driver and allow it to perform ancillary tasks on the central display such as online shopping or processing e-mails in the in-car office, added the automaker.
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The system works on surround sensors of the Driving Assistance Package and also constitutes additional sensors that the automaker considers indispensable for safe conditionally automated driving. These include LiDAR, a camera in the rear window, and microphones designed for detecting blue lights and other special signals from emergency vehicles. One will also find a wetness sensor on the wheel. The system will receive information about the road geometry, route profile, traffic signs and unusual traffic events such as roadworks or accidents from a digital HD map
Markus Schafer, member of the board of management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, chief technology officer responsible for development and purchasing stated that the company has been working to achieve the vision of automated driving and now with this LiDAR-based system, the company is looking forward to giving customers a unique experience. “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," he added.
The luxury automaker informed that it is offering the DRIVE PILOT on 13,191 km of motorway in Germany and it is also conducting extensive test drives of this system in countries such as the USA and China. As soon as the regions allow Level 3 technology, the company will start rolling it out.