Mercedes-Benz is one of the first automakers to receive approval for the conditionally automated driving Level 3 highway road test licence in Beijing, China.

The automaker will now begin testing on designated highways.

It claims to be the only car manufacturer in the world with internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving and a SAE Level 4 driverless parking system in place. It has been conducting proving ground tests of Level 3 systems in China “for years”.

“After bringing our Drive Pilot to Germany and the US, the testing licence in Beijing is the next important milestone to get conditionally automated driving ready for Chinese roads,” said CTO Markus Schaefer.

Mercedes‑Benz introduced they system in Germany as an optional conditionally automated driving system in the S-Class and EQS sedans in 2022. In the US, the production-ready version made its on road debut in California and Nevada with a limited fleet of Level 3 equipped EQS. Customer deliveries of so equipped MY2024 EQS Sedan and S-Class models will be available in early 2024 in California and Nevada.

To make the Level 3 automated driving system more adaptable to China’s infrastructure and traffic conditions, the local R&D team has been involved from the early stages of global development. Since 2021, Mercedes-Benz has undertaken proving ground testing and validation in China to continuously enhance Level 3 system performance. The focus of local R&D efforts includes adapting the system to China’s unique road signs, markings, construction zones, special lanes such as bus lanes and tidal lanes, and continually optimising logic, algorithms and parameters for scenarios like vehicle cutting in.

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