Mercedes-Benz said it had become the world’s first automobile manufacturer to receive permits for special exterior marker lights for automated driving in the states of California and Nevada. The California exemption permit for testing vehicles in California is initially limited to two years. The Nevada permit applies to MY2026 production vehicles and will remain valid until a statutory modification is achieved with the state legislature.

Both permits allow the automaker to gain important insights into the interaction of automated vehicles and other road users.

“The inclusion of marker lights is poised to substantially enhance public acceptance of automated driving and contribute to road safety, as the lights make the automated driving system’s status clearly visible from the exterior,” Mercedes said in a statement.

“This also allows traffic law enforcement and police officers to identify the system’s status and determine whether drivers are permitted to engage in secondary activities during the conditionally automated journey.”

Designed in accordance with SAE J3134 recommended practice, the turquoise lights are integrated into the front and rear lights as well as the two outside mirrors.

The automaker said turquoise fulfils two essential criteria that contributed to this colour choice – its visibility allows reliable and fast detection for other road users, and it offers differentiation from existing vehicle lighting and traffic signals such as traffic lights or emergency lighting.

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By GlobalData

According to the findings of “numerous test studies”, turquoise is the optimal colour for automated driving.

So far, there is no general framework in the United States, China or the UN-ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) for using turquoise lights in production vehicles.

“California and Nevada have taken the first important step with the now-granted exemptions.

“A future globally harmonised regulation for turquoise marker lights for automated driving will form the basis for heightened safety for all road users and propelling further technical innovations,” Mercedes said.