Updated: Feb 24
In May 2022, Mercedes-Benz launched sales of its Drive Pilot system in Germany. The system is capable of operating at SAE Level 3 autonomy and can be ordered for S-Class and all-electric EQS models. The system is available in the S-Class for €5,000 and EQS for €7,813. Mercedes aims to obtain approval to roll out the system in California and Nevada by the end of the year.
Mercedes’ system was approved by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) for Level 3 autonomy in December 2021. The approval allows Drive Pilot to take over driving in certain areas and at speeds of up to 60 km/h, as long as someone is in the driver’s seat and prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time.
“Responsible handling of future technologies such as conditional automated driving is the key to acceptance among customers and in society,” Britta Seeger, a board member of Mercedes-Benz Group, said. “With Drive Pilot, we have developed an innovative technology that, thanks to redundancies with many sensors, enables safe operation and gives the valuable asset ‘time’ back to the customer.”
The Drive Pilot system includes radar, LiDAR and cameras, as well as ultrasonic and moisture sensors. The redundant architecture of the system extends to include the brake system, steering, power supply and parts of the sensor technology.
Drive Pilot is able to take control the speed of vehicle and guide it within its lane, while also taking into account the route profile, events occuring on the route and traffic signs. The redundant architecture means that if the system malfunctions, Drive Pilot will handover control to driver or perform an emergency stop if the driver does not take over in time.