In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz received approval from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority for Level 3 autonomy. At Level 3 autonomy, drivers may take their minds off driving and focus on other tasks but must be able to take over when prompted. In Mercedes' Level 3 Drive Pilot feature, drivers will have 10 seconds to take over, and if they are unable to, the system initiates an emergency stop sequence. This is significantly different from existing Level 2 systems like Tesla's Autopilot or GM's Super Cruise where drivers are required to constantly supervise the system and intervene instantly when prompted. In these Level 2 systems, liability therefore rests completely with the driver. However, when a vehicle is operating at Level 3 (or higher), liability remains an open question since the driver is not required to be attentive and is therefore arguably not responsible for any incidents. Mercedes-Benz is now willing to accept liability when its Drive Pilot is operating at Level 3 autonomy.
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