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Mercedes-Benz to Start Selling Cars With Drive Pilot System Activated

Mercedes-Benz has announced the sales launch of Drive Pilot, its conditionally automated driving system. The German marque will offer it for the S-Class and the EQS, and they even revealed the pricing for the system. Starting May 17, 2022, customers who order an S-Class or an EQS can also specify the SAE Level 3 system.
Mercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activated 60 photos
Mercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activatedMercedes-Benz wil start selling vehicles with the Drive Pilot system activated
Mercedes-Benz notes that it is the first car manufacturer in the world with an internationally valid certification for conditional automated driving, as well as the first to offer such an ex-works option for vehicles from series production. We should also point out that the system works with cameras, radar, LIDAR, ultrasound, and even moisture sensors.

Tesla fans are ready to contradict that statement in the comments section, but we suggest double-checking the description of the American brand's system, as well as its certifications. Mercedes-Benz's system is currently approved in Germany.

The company has already provided the legally required documentation in order to obtain regulatory series approval for two U.S. states, California and Nevada. In the two states, if the legal situation will allow it by the end of this year, the system will be operational once it gets the green light.

In Germany, the Drive Pilot system is a EUR 5,000 (ca. $5,292) optional extra for the S-Class, and a EUR 7,430 (ca. $7.864) extra for the EQS. In the case of the latter, the order involves getting the Drive Pilot and the Driver Assistance Package Plus, which is priced at EUR 2,430 (ca. $2,572). 

Mercedes-Benz's Drive Pilot is designed with several redundancies in mind, and all its systems are meant to complement each other to ensure control even if one of the systems has a malfunction. In other words, if one of the cameras is covered, the vehicle still has radar, LIDAR, and ultrasound, among others.

If something fails for whatever reason, the system is prepared to keep the vehicle maneuverable and ensure a safe handoff to the driver. The said handoff is done after a takeover request is made by the car to the driver. The latter has ten seconds to take the wheel.

If there is a medical emergency or something that prevents the driver from taking the wheel, the vehicle is capable to pull over and contact emergency services without putting its passengers or other road users at risk.

As Mercedes-Benz explains, if a safe stop is not possible right away, the vehicle will continue to drive in its lane, avoiding collisions with other road users or objects on the road, and it will do so until it will be safe to stop.

Back in 2018, when I test drove the (then new) A-Class with a Level 2 system that was capable of holding its lane, I did experiment with the limits of its capabilities while holding my hands ready to grip the wheel.

At the time, the vehicle was capable of keeping its lane for a couple of minutes after it started warning me to grab the wheel, and it eventually pulled over and attempted to call emergency services. Please do not try to replicate the said experiment.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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