Hands-off at up to 60 km/h in traffic
Will also offer self-parking once rules allow
Coming along with the full reveal of the Mercedes-Benz EQS this week, the automaker has announced that its semi-autonomous Drive Pilot system is expected to be able to handle some driving on select roads in the first half of next year. The company hopes to launch the system in the US soon, once the law allows.
When it launches in Germany, the Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot Level 3 system will be able to handle highway driving on what the company calls “suitable motorway sections.” Unlike other such systems from Ford and GM, however, the Mercedes-Benz system will only work at lower speeds. It’s designed to handle high-density traffic at speeds of up to 60 km/h, which Mercedes says is the legally permitted speed for the system.
The driver can be hands-off, but the system will monitor to make sure that they are not sleeping, looking rearward for too long, or trying to leave the driver seat. Mercedes says the driver should be ready to re-take control if conditions change.
The system includes LiDAR sensing, rear windscreen cameras and microphones to detect emergency vehicles, driver monitoring, and even redundant brake and steering systems to ensure it can always hand off to the driver and not suddenly drop out in case of failure.
Mercedes also announced the car’s pre-installation of Intelligent Park Pilot. this is a Level 4 automated valet system that will let the vehicle park automatically, without a driver, in parking lots with the correct infrastructure. This feature can bring the car back to its owner as well, but is still awaiting laws that permit its use.