Mercedes-Benz Inches Closer to a Driverless Future

Drive Pilot goes to Stage 3

If all goes in line with plan, Mercedes-Benz will probably be the primary carmaker to introduce a reliable automobile with Stage 3 automated driving within the US, courtesy of the brand new Drive Pilot system. It has been present process certification testing in California and Nevada, and approval for public use could also be granted by the autumn. At that time, Mercedes will make Drive Pilot obtainable as an possibility on the S-Class sedan and house owners might have them of their fingers by the summer time of 2023.

Drive Pilot makes use of three distinct sensor programs: stereo cameras, radar and lidar. Stereo cameras and radar have been on automobiles for a number of years and have made adaptive cruise management, lane preserving help and different security options attainable. Lidar operates on an analogous precept as radar however makes use of lasers to optically scan as a substitute of radio waves. Every sensor system has its personal benefits and disadvantages.

The motive force prompts Drive Pilot with illuminated buttons on the steering wheel rim. In its present type, the system can solely be activated on authorised roads and solely as much as 40 mph. Additionally, at the least two of the three sensor programs should agree that it’s secure to activate. When these circumstances are met, the system will ask for affirmation and start working.

On an illustration drive as a passenger on notoriously congested Los Angeles freeways, our S-Class carried out as marketed. The massive sedan maintained a constant hole behind the automobiles forward and remained centered in its lane with no noticeable lurches or twitches. In essence, it drove like a chauffeur. It is vital to notice that when Drive Pilot is engaged, Mercedes-Benz accepts legal responsibility for the automobile. We’re certain there can be some limitations, however it’s a transparent indication of how assured the corporate is in its skills.

There have been cases by which the motive force was instructed to renew driving duties with visible and audible prompts. One occasion was when the motive force was not wanting ahead or on the infotainment display and after a number of seconds Drive Pilot disengaged. One other occasion was when site visitors started to maneuver quicker than 40 mph and the hole behind the automobile forward exceeded the vary of the sensors. In each instances, the handoff to the motive force was freed from any drama.

In fact, the motive force can intervene at any time and disable Drive Pilot by tapping the steering wheel buttons, by giving the steering wheel a bit turning enter, or by urgent on the brake pedal or accelerator. When disengaged, the system reverts to non-automated driving. With a view to scale back any potential confusion, the Stage 2 programs won’t robotically take over when you get away of the Drive Pilot surroundings. You may need to activate these your self.

As soon as deactivated, if the motive force doesn’t take management of the automobile, the system will assume they’re incapacitated or experiencing some form of medical concern. The automobile will robotically activate the hazard lights, sluggish to a cease, unlock the doorways and summon emergency companies.


Apart from the circumstances talked about above, Drive Pilot has some extra limitations. Initially, the system will solely be authorised to be used on roads in California and Nevada. These roads are usually restricted to divided highways. Whether it is raining or if the highway is moist, the system won’t activate since stopping distances and dealing with traits are too tough to foretell. Drive Pilot may also not work in most tunnels both as a result of GPS knowledge could also be unavailable.

Within the occasion that extra areas are authorised for Drive Pilot or if some circumstances are diminished or revised, the system will use over-the-air software program updates to maintain every part present.

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