At CES earlier this January, Mercedes announced that it could develop into the primary automotive firm to attain certification from the SAE for a Stage 3 driver help system. That became official on Thursday when the automaker confirmed its Drive Pilot ADAS (automated driver help system) now complies with the necessities of Nevada Chapter 482A, which governs the usage of autonomous automobile know-how on the state’s roads. That makes Drive Pilot the one legal Level 3 system in the US for the second.
“An unwavering dedication to innovation has persistently guided Mercedes-Benz from the very starting,” Dimitris Psillakis, President and CEO of MBUSA, mentioned in Thursday’s press assertion. “It’s a very proud second for everybody to proceed this management and have fun this monumental achievement as the primary automotive firm to be licensed for Stage 3 conditionally automated driving within the US market.”
Stage 3 capabilities, as defined by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), would allow the automobile to deal with “all facets of the driving” when engaged however nonetheless want the motive force attentive sufficient to promptly take management if mandatory. That is a giant step up from the Stage 2 programs we see as we speak corresponding to Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving,” Ford’s Blue Cruise, and GM’s Super Cruise. All of these are basically extra-capable freeway cruise controls the place the motive force should keep their consideration on driving, sometimes protecting their arms on or at the least close to the wheel, and be accountable for what the ADAS is doing whereas it is doing it. That is a far cry from the Knight Rider-esque ADAS outlook Tesla is promoting and what Stage 2 autonomy is definitely able to.
Mercedes’ Drive Pilot system can, “on appropriate freeway sections and the place there’s excessive visitors density,” according to the company, take over the bumper-to-bumper crawling duties as much as 40 MPH with out the motive force needing to maintain their arms on the wheel. When engaged, the system handles lane-keeping duties, stays with the circulation of visitors, navigates to locations programmed into the Nav system, and can even react to “sudden visitors conditions and handles them independently, e.g. by evasive maneuvers inside the lane or by braking maneuvers.”
To carry out these feats, the Drive Pilot system depends on a collection of sensors embedded all through the automobile together with visible cameras, LiDAR arrays, radar and ultrasound sensors, and audio mics to maintain an ear out for approaching emergency automobiles. The system even compares its onboard sensor knowledge with what it’s receiving from its GPS to make sure it is aware of precisely the place on the street it truly is.
Drive Pilot is just obtainable on the 2024 S-Class and EQS Sedan for now. These are already in manufacturing and the primary automobiles ought to attain the Vegas strip within the second half of this yr.
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