Turquoise Lights Flash Green Light for Self-Driving Future in CA & NV

Mercedes-Benz has secured the world’s first approvals for using special exterior lighting to signal automated driving in California and Nevada. This pioneering step paves the way for clearer communication on the road and broader public acceptance of self-driving technology.

Testing the Turquoise Waters in California

California’s exemption permit allows Mercedes to test turquoise-colored marker lights on its automated driving vehicles for two years. These lights will be integrated into the front and rear lights, as well as the side mirrors, making the car’s autonomous status readily apparent to other drivers and law enforcement.

Nevada Gears Up for Production-Ready Rollout

Nevada has taken a bolder approach, authorizing the installation of these lights on production vehicles starting with the 2026 Model Year EQS and S-Class DRIVE PILOT models. This paves the way for the first widespread deployment of self-driving cars with clear visual identifiers.

Beyond the Gimmick: Enhanced Safety and Public Trust

These marker lights aren’t just a flashy gimmick. They aim to:

  • Boost public acceptance: By signaling the car’s automated driving mode, these lights can alleviate anxieties and build trust among other road users.
  • Aid law enforcement: Police officers can easily identify vehicles in self-driving mode, ensuring drivers comply with relevant regulations.
  • Improve road safety: Clear communication between cars and pedestrians can potentially reduce accidents caused by misunderstandings.

DRIVE PILOT Paves the Way

The turquoise lights will initially be seen on vehicles equipped with DRIVE PILOT, the world’s first Level 3 conditionally automated driving system with international type approval. Already certified in Germany and now in California and Nevada, DRIVE PILOT allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel under specific conditions.

Why Turquoise? A Color with Science (and Style) on its Side

Extensive research went into choosing the perfect color for these lights. Turquoise emerged as the clear winner, thanks to its:

  • High visibility: It stands out from existing car lights and traffic signals, minimizing confusion.
  • Psychological appeal: Studies show turquoise evokes feelings of calmness and trust, ideal for self-driving cars.
  • Industry standardization: The SAE J3134 recommends turquoise for automated driving system indicators.

A Global Vision for Turquoise-Tinged Roads

While California and Nevada have taken the lead, Mercedes-Benz aspires to make turquoise the universal language of self-driving cars. The company actively advocates for global standardization of this color code, promoting safety and fostering wider adoption of this transformative technology.

With its innovative marker lights and commitment to clear communication, Mercedes-Benz is steering the future of self-driving cars towards a safer, more trusting, and undeniably cooler tomorrow. So, the next time you see a car sporting a touch of turquoise on the road, remember – it’s not just a pretty light, it’s a beacon of progress in the exciting world of autonomous driving.


Self Drive News
Self Drive News

Self Drive News is a premier B2B digital resource meticulously curated for industry professionals, stakeholders, and enthusiasts in the rapidly accelerating world of autonomous vehicles. Rooted in innovation and forward-thinking, we deliver insightful, reliable, and up-to-the-minute news, connecting the diverse and dynamic strands of the autonomous vehicle industry under one interactive platform.