February 28, 2022
Mercedes-Benz is looking to bring its autonomous driving system to U.S. highways this year.
The news follows the company’s 2021 earnings call where CEO Ola Kallenius told reporters it’s the company’s objective to roll out the technology in the coming months.
Mercedes-Benz received Level 3 autonomous driving system approval in December from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, a move expected to pave the way for international rollouts. The company was the first manufacturer to put conditionally automated driving into production in Germany.
In terms of self-driving capabilities, Level 3 means drivers can take their hands off the wheel and even their eyes off the road in certain situations.
The company has been working to realize its vision for automated driving for years, according to Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer.
“With this Lidar-based system, we have developed an innovative technology for our vehicles that offers customers a unique, luxurious driving experience and gives them what matters most: time,” he said in December. “With the approval of the authorities, we have now achieved a breakthrough…”
The company’s DRIVE PILOT system is designed for highway usage. Once engaged, drivers can focus on “non-driving tasks provided by the vehicle’s multimedia system.” The system can alert the driver to resume driving in several situations including once the vehicle leaves the highway, approaches a crash or has a malfunction while maintaining control of the vehicle until the driver does.
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