In December last year, Mercedes-Benz became the first automaker to receive “internationally validated system approval” for a Level 3 system, the new S-Class and its all-electric alternative available at EQS. This means that the drivers of these two vehicles can go completely hands-free, although they must be prepared to intervene if necessary. It seems that this technology is coming to the United States before the end of the year.
Ola Calenius, CEO of German automaker, recently confirmed that it is working with full force to bring Level 3 autonomous technology to the US market soon. Speaking to reporters during a call for the company’s 2021 financial results yesterday, Calenius said: “Our goal is to launch this technology this year.”
The CEO of Automaker explained that Mercedes is currently testing in the United States and is talking to local authorities about the requirements that must be met for the technology to be launched. Unfortunately, he did not provide additional details, although he acknowledged that he did want to make the technology available on a wider scale.
Equipped with Level 3 capability drive pilots in the Mercedes S-Class and EQS, the system can operate at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour) in heavy, crowded traffic. If all the requirements are met, the car can accelerate, brake and even change lanes without input from the driver. The function is already available at 8,197 miles (13,191 kilometers) of German highways. In Deutschland, Mercedes will start offering S-Class and EQS models after the first half of 2022.
Audi was technically the first to reach Level 3 autonomous driving power with the A8, although it has abandoned plans to make it available to customers in Europe and the United States, at least for now. BMW is expected to join the party soon with the launch of the next generation 7 Series.