Mercedes-Benz is launching its Level 3 autonomous driving system, Drive Pilot, in the US, claiming to be the first automaker to introduce such a system in a standard production vehicle in the country.
California and Nevada were the first two states to approve the system and certify it for use on major freeways.
The system will arrive late this year in EQS electric sedans.
More deliveries are planned for early 2024 and the automaker said it would expand availability to additional states.
The system is available in some EQS and S-Class models and activated online at prices ranging from US$2,500.
Drive Pilot enables the vehicle to take over driving up to speeds of 40mph on suitable roads and during high traffic density.
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The system uses vehicle sensing technology and has additional sensors including LiDAR, a rear window camera and microphones. It also features a sensor in the wheel well to detect road wetness.
Mercedes said a Drive Pilot equipped vehicle has redundant steering and braking actuators and a redundant on-board electrical system to ensure manoeuvrability in the event one of these systems fails.
The system could also determine precise location using a positioning system that Mercedes claimed “is much more powerful than conventional GPS systems”.
A digital HD map provides a three-dimensional image of the road and the surroundings. This includes information on road geometry, route characteristics and traffic signs. It is stored in backend data centres and updated constantly.