Mercedes can shake up the driving world with their new Level 3 autonomous driving option. This option will be coming next year in two Mercedes, the EQS and the S-Class. Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG and chief technology officer responsible for development and purchasing has said that “For the first time in 136 years of automotive history, the vehicle takes over the dynamic driving task under certain conditions”.
At the beginning, it is not going to be like films, the system only works in heavy traffic, it is only certified for speeds up to 40 mph, and it depends of the regulation of the countries, because some countries do not allow to autonomous driving.
This third level is one more step for getting a totally autonomous car. With the Mercedes’ Level 2, the driver has to have their hands on the steering wheel and view on the road. But the German brands said that with this new level you have not to do anything. But still has to be attentive to the road, because the Drive Pilot needs a car in front of it going at less than 40 mph in order to work, this is the next problem to solve.
Drive Pilot takes adaptive cruise control, which has been in production cars for more than 20 years, to the next level. It uses the existing sensors from Mercedes’ Driving Assistance Package. It also incorporates input from a digital HD map with information on road geometry, route profile, traffic signs and unusual traffic events like accidents or construction zones. The brand has said that they will accept responsibility of the accident that this technology could produce.
This is one more step to make autonomous cars. It is obvious that all the brands are working on the drive pilots to make them more and more autonomous. But we have to wait until getting a car were the driver could be slept while the car is travelling.