Mercedes-Benz to carry out Level 3 autonomous driving tests on highways

Level 3 autonomous driving will allow drivers to take their eyes off road and engage in other activities
An undated image illustrating a Mercedes-Benz car. — Canva
An undated image illustrating a Mercedes-Benz car. — Canva

Mercedes-Benz announced that it will start testing its Level 3 autonomous driving system, called Drive Pilot, on designated highways in Germany next year. The system will allow drivers to take their eyes off the road and engage in other activities, such as browsing the internet or watching videos, while the car handles the driving task.

What is Level 3 autonomous driving?

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Level 3 autonomous driving means that the vehicle can perform all aspects of the driving task under certain conditions, such as traffic jams or highway driving, and the driver only needs to intervene when the system requests it. 

Read more: LG to introduce transparent, telecom antenna for automobiles soon

This is different from Level 2 systems, such as Tesla’s Autopilot or Cadillac’s Super Cruise, which require the driver to monitor the road and be ready to take over at any time.

How does Drive Pilot work?

Drive Pilot uses a combination of sensors, cameras, LiDAR, and artificial intelligence to detect the road conditions, traffic, and other vehicles. It also communicates with a cloud-based service that provides real-time information on the availability and suitability of the designated highways for autonomous driving. 

The system will prompt the driver to activate it when it detects that the conditions are met and will also alert the driver to resume control when the conditions change or the system reaches its limits. The system can operate at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph) and will bring the vehicle to a safe stop if the driver fails to respond.