Mercedes-Benz receives approval for Level 3 autonomy

December 23, 2021 | Case Study

As the first application of its Road Traffic Act for Level 3 (L3) systems established in 2017, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority granted Mercedes-Benz approval to sell cars equipped with its L3-capable Drive Pilot feature. At L3, drivers may take their minds off driving and perform other tasks in certain situations but must be able to intervene when prompted. The current approval allows this at speeds up to 60 kph on 13,191 km of German highways. Mercedes expects to bring Drive Pilot-equipped cars to the German market in the first half of 2022, starting with its S-Class. Drive Pilot uses a sensor suite consisting of lidar, radar, cameras, microphones, and wetness sensors in the wheels. In addition, it uses data from its cameras paired with high-definition maps for localization. The company claims that cars with Drive Pilot will have redundant steering, braking, and electrical systems to improve safety and allow the safe handover of control to the driver in the event of a system failure. If the driver can't take over due to, for example, medical reasons, the vehicle automatically comes to a controlled standstill, following which it activates an emergency call system and unlocks doors and windows.

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