Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT first certified Level 3 autonomy in US beating Tesla
Mercedes-Benz has become the first company in the world to receive SAE Level 3 certification for autonomous driving in the US, beating rival Tesla to this stage. To be exact, DRIVE PILOT will be available for 2024 S-Class and EQS Sedan models, the first regular production vehicles authorized to drive autonomously on US public freeways. Currently, the only US state to have approved the technology is Nevada; the company notes that it hopes to expand to California later this year and has already filed the necessary documents with the relevant authorities.
DRIVE PILOT, launched in Germany last May, can take dynamic control of the vehicle. The system can use detected road conditions to control the car's speed, up to 40 mph (~64 kph), and distance from other vehicles. The system can also read traffic signs and detect events, braking or manoeuvring within the lane as appropriate. You can control DRIVE PILOT using buttons on the steering wheel's rim.
One caveat is that the technology requires high traffic density and only works on some roads. To ensure that the autonomous system remains effective and safe, cars equipped with DRIVE PILOT also have additional sensors. These include LiDAR, a rear-window camera, a road wetness sensor in the wheel well and microphones to detect emergency vehicles. The first 2024 S-Class and EQS Sedan vehicles are expected to reach customers later this year.