Mercedes-Benz Achieves SAE Level 3 Certification for DRIVE PILOT System in California: A Major Leap in Automated Driving

Mercedes-Benz secures first-ever certification for a Level 3 automated driving system in a standard-production vehicle from California authorities. With this, the DRIVE PILOT system will be available in the 2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS Sedan models.

What’s Happening

Mercedes-Benz announced the receipt of certification for its pioneering DRIVE PILOT system for SAE Level 3 conditionally automated driving from California authorities. The company becomes the pioneer in introducing such a sophisticated system in a standard-production vehicle for use on public highways in California, the most populous state in the U.S.

Mercedes-Benz Achieves SAE Level 3 Certification for DRIVE PILOT System in California: A Major Leap in Automated Driving

Why It Matters

This achievement is of significant importance in the autonomous vehicle industry, with Mercedes-Benz leading the way. The DRIVE PILOT system will be an optional feature in the U.S. market for the 2024 models of Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS Sedan. The initial deliveries of these vehicles equipped with the DRIVE PILOT system will commence in late 2023.

Key Points

The DRIVE PILOT system sets new industry standards with its advanced vehicle architecture that leverages redundancy and a multitude of sensors for comfortable and safe automated driving. As per Mercedes-Benz, it is the only SAE Level 3 system with globally valid type approval. Earlier in 2023, the state of Nevada also confirmed compliance of the system with its state regulations.

The DRIVE PILOT system allows the driver to focus on secondary tasks during a conditionally automated journey. It can take over the dynamic driving task on suitable freeway sections with high traffic density at speeds up to 40 mph. The system is equipped to react to unexpected traffic situations and handle them independently. In emergency situations, it can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and activate the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system.

Bottom Line

Mercedes-Benz remains a dominant player in Level 3 conditionally automated driving, continuing to spearhead innovations in safety and technology. The DRIVE PILOT system is a testament to the automaker’s commitment to deliver unparalleled convenience to its customers, by enabling them to reclaim time while safely navigating congested highways. The company has also revealed its strategy of partnering with tech leaders like NVIDIA and Luminar, to further strengthen its vision for automated driving and enhance its offerings in the future.


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