Mercedes becomes the first manufacturer in the world to certify Mercedes Drive Pilot Level 3 autonomous driving in the U.S. . The state of Nevada has confirmed that the system complies with state regulations.
The Mercedes Drive Pilot system is the first, and only SAE Level 3 autonomous driving system that can be used on public roads in the U.S. . Complying with the requirements of Nevada Chapter 482A for Autonomous Vehicles, the Drive Pilot system will allow the driver to transfer driving responsibilities to the automated system.
Mercedes also wants to obtain certification for the Drive Pilot system in California in the latter part of 2023, with certification documents already filed with California authorities.
The Drive Pilot system will be available as an option for the model year 2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS Sedan models, which will be delivered to customers in the second half of 2023.
The Drive Pilot SAE Level 3 autonomous driving system operates on the highway at speeds up to 40 mph, regardless of how heavy traffic is. The activation control buttons are located at the top of the steering wheel on the left and right and are easy to operate with the thumbs of your hand.
When you press one of the buttons, if the operating conditions are met, the two LEDs light up in a turquoise-green color. The system has a few operational restrictions. It is active when the maximum speed does not exceed 40 mph, which also applies to the vehicle in front that it is following. Be careful because the system only works during the day, not in tunnels, and only in temperatures above 3 degrees Celsius.
The system keeps the car in the lane but also reacts to unexpected maneuvers by other vehicles in traffic and handles them on its own by braking or avoiding maneuvers.
The Drive Pilot system uses sensors from the Driver Assistance package. It has additional sensors, including a LIDAR sensor, a camera in the rear window, and microphones to detect emergency vehicles.
Drive Pilot also uses a high-precision positioning system that is much more powerful than GPS sensors. In addition, a digital map provides a three-dimensional view of the road and its surroundings and information about road geometry and characteristics, road signs, and traffic events (accidents or road works).
The digital map is much more accurate than the navigation system and offers centimeter-level accuracy compared to meters in traditional navigation. When Drive Pilot is active, the driver can access the various applications in the multimedia system that are otherwise blocked while driving.
The system was initially introduced in Germany in May 2022 and is now the first SAE Level 3 system to meet the legal requirements of UNR157. In Germany, the Drive Pilot system is available on the S-Class and costs an optional 5,950 euros ($6,470).