A future where your car takes you to work while you sleep in the driver’s seat is still a long way off. However, Mercedes is taking the first step towards a future that recognizes legal responsibility in the event of a car accident while using its drive pilot technology, the brand’s SAE Level 3 Advanced Driver Assistance system. Mercedes could deploy it on U.S. roads by the end of the year, reports say Roads and tracks.
The Mercedes Drive Pilot allows complete hands-off driving, with the car taking charge of the vehicle. However, like most emerging technologies, its scope for actual usability is quite limited. Drive Pilot is only available on roads already mapped by Mercedes, like GM’s supercruise system.
The system limits the effectiveness of the technology to 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour) on a divided highway without traffic control, which we experienced on the first ride with EQE. Mercedes only allows drivers to use the technology in decent weather during the day.
However, the system can navigate many accidents which may surprise the drivers. If the drive pilot detects the need to take control of the driver, the system issues a 10-second warning before detaching them, giving the driver time to focus on the road ahead. The system does this when it encounters an emergency vehicle, using microphones and cameras to detect the vehicle before warning the driver to take control.
Mercedes has already received approval from Germany to use technology on its roads, with full mapping of the country’s highways. The company also expects the technology to hit U.S. roads by the end of the year, with the brand looking at California and Nevada as the first two states to allow such vehicles. Mercedes has mapped many of the highways in those states However, don’t expect widespread adoption at once.
Automated driving company VP George Massing said in a statement Roads and tracks That Mercedes hopes that Mercedes will have to deal with each state in adopting rules to allow it to operate its drive pilot technology. Mercedes is already outperforming California and Nevada because there are few federal regulations regarding technology.