Developments in automotive technology are taking place at a very high pace. Automakers are trying to woo all the customers that they can by introducing tech related to greater efficiency, safety and comfort. One of these techs is autonomous driving and Mercedes has just taken a huge leap forward as far as its development is concerned.
It hasn’t been long since the German executive carmaker has added Level 3 autonomy to their highest-end models. This makes Mercedes the first car company to successfully achieve and also implement such a level of AI vehicle technology. So, let’s take a closer look at what this tech is and what Merc has done.
What is Level 3 autonomous driving?
Level 3 autonomy in vehicles means that the driver can take a chill pill while the car can do the driving. However, the driver should be ready to take control whenever the vehicle requires them to. As a result, going to sleep isn’t really an option in Level 3 autonomous vehicles, but who knows what the future holds.
There are several levels of autonomous driving and the higher the level, the lesser is the amount of attention required from the driver. Level 3 autonomy is a big step since it means that the car’s automated system monitors the driving conditions. This is opposed to the lower levels, in which the driver had to monitor the driving conditions for the car.
Are there any Level 3 autonomous vehicles?
Yes, and they both come from the very best in the business: Mercedes-Benz. Merc announced that they were adding Level 3 autonomy as an optional extra in their flagship models, the Mercedes S-Class and its successor, the Mercedes EQS. The optional extra is a pricey one, but it will be worth it if it is any good.
So, to answer the questions, “does Mercedes have Level 3 autonomy?”; yes, it does now. Merc has a system known as Mercedes’ Drive Pilot. This remarkable technology has the honor of being the world’s first completely certified Level 3 driving system. It was just available in Mercedes’s home country of Germany, but now the US is also getting it.
Which cars offer the new Mercedes autonomous driving system then?
Well, there’s the S-Class Level 3 autonomous driving option, which is available for an additional $5300. The S Class is the flagship model offered by Mercedes and it’s arguably the poshest and most sophisticated car in the world. So, there’s no surprise that it is the first-ever Merc (and gasoline automobile) to receive this system.
The EQS is the electric version of the S-Class and its most probable successor. So, is Mercedes EQS Level 3 then? The answer is yes, it is. The EQS also received the upgrade and if you’re willing to pay $7900, this ground-breaking optional extra can be yours. This makes the Mercedes EQS self-driving to a greater extent than all of its EV rivals.
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How does Level 3 autonomous driving work in Mercedes?
Well, according to Motor Trend, you simply have to engage the system and it’ll let you know when it has taken over for you. Then. like it is mentioned above, the system will allow you to sit back and relax. You can even take your eyes off the road and use your phone to send text messages or whatever.
The way the system works is by grabbing all sorts of data from around your vehicle. There are hundreds of parameters that it looks at all around your Merc. It analyzes all of this information and uses it to make decisions, all in a of a couple of nanoseconds. So, what if there’s an important decision to be made?
Let’s say that there’s something out of the ordinary happening around the vehicle. In this case, you’ll get some red lights that’ll flash to get your attention. When this happens, the vehicle will expect you to drop everything and take control. If you don’t do that, it’ll take matters into its own hands and gently stop the vehicle, even unlocking the doors.
With this system, we could soon see a complete Mercedes Benz self-driving car at the rate the company is advancing towards new tech.