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  • Kyle Chua

Mercedes Becomes First Car Company To Receive Level 3 Autonomous Driving Certification in US

You might soon be able to safely watch a movie or browse the internet while driving specific Mercedes vehicles.

Credit: Mercedes

The German automaker announced last week that its Drive Pilot system has received Level 3 certification in the U.S. based on the automated driving standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). It's the first company to do so, beating other automakers with autonomous driving systems, such as Tesla, Ford and General Motors.


A Level 3 system can essentially drive itself and doesn't require constant supervision, freeing drivers up to engage in other activities. However, drivers must be able to regain control of the vehicle at a moment's notice, which means they can't fall asleep while driving. Still, that sounds like a huge upgrade from Level 2 systems that require drivers to maintain full attention on the road and have their hands on or near the wheel at all times.


Mercedes touts that its Drive Pilot system can weave through high-density traffic at up to 40mph on certain road conditions. It can stay on lanes and go with the flow of traffic while navigating to the destination programmed. What's more, it can even handle unexpected traffic situations on its own through evasive manoeuvres within the lane or braking.

Credit: Mercedes

The system relies on a range of sensors to perform all these tasks, including visual cameras, ultrasound sensors, radar, LiDAR arrays and audio microphones. The system can even compare the sensor data with the GPS data to know where exactly on the road it is.


The Drive Pilot system comes as an optional add-on for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQs Sedan models, though U.S. prices have yet to be announced. The two vehicles are reportedly already in production, with the first shipments reaching Nevada within the second half of this year.


Nevada is the only state where Mercedes’ technology has been cleared by regulators to operate. The system might be limited there for now, but the automaker has already filed for certification in California, suggesting it could bring the technology to other states soon.

 
  • Mercedes has announced that its Drive Pilot system has received Level 3 certification in the U.S. based on the automated driving standards set by SAE.

  • A Level 3 system can essentially drive itself and doesn't require constant supervision, freeing drivers up to engage in other activities.

  • The Drive Pilot system comes as an optional add-on for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQs Sedan models, though U.S. prices have yet to be announced.

  • The system is also limited to the state of Nevada for now.

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