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Mercedes First To Receive Level 3 ADAS Approval For Use In California

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Mercedes-Benz becomes the first automotive company to receive certification from California state to sell standard-production vehicles equipped with Level 3 conditionally automated driving. Basically, this means that certain Mercedes models can be driven in the largest US automotive market without interaction between the driver and the machine under certain conditions. The driver must still be ready to take over if the system disengages, though.

The automaker’s Drive Pilot system will be available as an option on the 2024 S-Class and 2024 EQS models and the first cars equipped with the tech are expected to be delivered to customers in late 2023. The same system made the German brand the first automaker in the United States to offer Level 3 automated driving back in January this year when Drive Pilot was certified for use in Nevada.

“Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot is the world’s only SAE Level 3 system with internationally valid type approval. It builds on a very robust foundation, setting new industry standards. Drive Pilot uses a highly sophisticated vehicle architecture based on redundancy with a multitude of sensors enabling comfortable and safe conditionally automated driving. The certification by the authorities in California and in Nevada once again confirms that redundancy is the safe and thus the right approach,” Markus Schäfer, CTO responsible for development and procurement at Mercedes comments.

If you are new to the world of autonomous technologies, here’s what all of this means. If you are on board a 2024 S-Class or 2024 EQS equipped with Drive Pilot, you’ll be able to take your hands off the steering wheel and mind off the traffic and focus on other activities, including applications on the vehicle’s center display. This will be possible on certain freeway sections with speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. However, the driver must be ready to take full control of the vehicle at any time.

In the future, Mercedes wants to improve the system and make it work with speeds of up to 80 mph. Helping the automotive manufacturer are companies like Nvidia and Luminar, providing different components for the Drive Pilot. In addition, Mercedes wants to further expand the availability of the system to other states in America and other regions around the world.

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