Tesla Fans Poke Fun at Mercedes-Benz for Its Drive Pilot Level 3 ADAS Shortcomings

Mercedes-Benz announced that it got its Drive Pilot automated driving system certified in Nevada. As usual, Mercedes-Benz boasted about being the first automaker to have a Level 3 self-driving system certified. Nevertheless, its capabilities made Tesla fans laugh.
Tesla fans poke fun at Mercedes-Benz for its Drive Pilot Level 3 ADAS shortcomings 6 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be among the first ones to get Drive Pilot in the U.S.Control buttons for the Drive Pilot system2024 Mercedes-Benz EQS and S-Class will be the first ones to get Drive Pilot in the U.S.2024 Mercedes-Benz EQS and S-Class will be the first ones to get Drive Pilot in the U.S.2024 Mercedes-Benz EQS and S-Class will be the first ones to get Drive Pilot in the U.S.
The auto industry has been boasting about autonomous driving for a long time. Many years ago, when I was young, the German part supplier Bosch introduced me to automated driving for the first time. The engineers explained to me what the five SAE levels of autonomy mean and informed me that by 2018, the auto industry would reach Level 4 autonomy. By 2025, having a driver behind the wheel will not be necessary. Since Mercedes-Benz works with Bosch for its Drive Pilot SAE Level 3 driver assist system, I’m baffled to see how little their technology has progressed for the past ten years.

Yes, Mercedes-Benz has certified its Drive Pilot as an SAE Level 3 driver assist system in the U.S., as it has been bragging for the past year or so. However, this doesn’t mean much because the system still has severe limitations. Drive Pilot can drive itself, no problem, but only on a pre-mapped highway in Nevada when you’re traveling below 40 mph (64 kph) and there’s a car in front to follow. Ah, and when the conditions are clear, and no sun blinds the car’s cameras.

Saying that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (or the EQS) has been certified to drive autonomously under these conditions is like me telling my daughter she can go to a party only if it’s in the same neighborhood, ends before noon, and there’s nobody else coming. And I’m not the only one thinking like that. Tesla fans are laughing right now reading about the limitations of the Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot system.

I’m not sure why Mercedes-Benz wanted to certify the Drive Pilot system for anything, let alone in the U.S. It’s probably because of the over-cautious nature of the Germans or because it wanted to make the news. As Elon Musk once said, explaining why it’s more difficult to launch Full Self-Driving software in Europe, there’s no need to get approval in the U.S. for things that are not specifically regulated.

Things are a little different in the U.S. Like in the U.S., things are legal by default, and in Europe, they’re illegal by default, so we have to get approval beforehand; whereas in the U.S. you can kind of do it on your own cognizance more or less,” said Musk in March.

If you want to see how the Level-3 certified Drive Pilot system works, watch the video below. You’ll notice that the instructor has difficulty explaining why the system fails to engage. And yet, this system has been judged to be superior to Tesla’s FSD by the guys at Consumer Reports. Based on the CR evaluation, the Drive Pilot has received a 10/10 score for “Capabilities and Performance,” while the FSD received a 9/10 on the same assessment.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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