(Our Auto Experts) — When it comes to autonomous driving in America, Mercedes just got the go-ahead for level 3 in Germany. And now it’s coming to the U.S.
If you live in LA you may have seen the Mercedes S-Class with driver pilot inside written across the side, driving up and down the 10 or 405 at certain times of the day. They are not being driven by a human but by a computer. Mercedes calls it the drive pilot.
I got to spend some time in one. Here are a few things I noticed:
- The car lets you know when it’s available for autonomy by displaying a white “A” on the dash
- Easy engagement of autonomy. Which “fades” you into the car taking over. This was a nice segue into something that we are all taught to never do. Take your hands off the wheel.
- At that point, you are encouraged to let go of the wheel and multitask. I was able to respond to some emails, and level up my game of Tetris. Maybe you want to watch a streaming service. The possibilities are endless.
Mercedes is the first company to do it in the US, in this way, California will be the first state. Followed by Nevada. Certification is expected to come from Mercedes at the end of the year, followed by the first vehicles with the Drive Pilot system, arriving in early 2023.
Dimitris Psillakis, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, was able to take autonomous driving off the Driver Pilot long enough to answer a few of my questions.
“So ambitious to get our certification done within this year and start commercializing as a first brand in the US, the level 3 autonomous driving our vehicles are capable of doing So as classic way, so we’re looking forward to that”
Over the next few months, Mercedes will introduce an electric car that will go over 600 miles on a single charge, a new electric car that has a HEPA filter that can filter out viruses, including those, like the coronavirus, and a vehicle that has seat covers made from mushrooms that took just two weeks to grow.
This autonomy step is what Mercedes calls their Moon Landing. Although the ink Is not on the paper yet. If we have to guess it’ll be looking like level 3 autonomous driving will be arriving in America, close to the fall of this year.