Mercedes-Benz has launched the new Drive Pilot System in Germany with Level 3 automated driving as an optional extra for the S-Class for 5,000 Euro (approx. RM23,017) and for the EQS for 7,430 Euro (approx. RM34,204) which includes the existing Driver Assistance Package Plus for 2,430 Euro and Drive Pilot for 5,000 Euro.
According to SAE International’s definition of Level 3 autonomous driving, the automated driving function can take over certain driving tasks. However, a driver is still required. The driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times when prompted to intervene by the vehicle.
This makes Mercedes-Benz the first car manufacturer in the world with internationally valid certification for conditional automated driving. The Drive Pilot system can take over the task of driving up to 60 km/h under certain conditions in heavy traffic or congestion on certain highways in Germany.
Upon activating Drive Pilot, the system can control speed, and distance from another vehicle, and keeps the vehicle in its lane; all while analysing traffic signs, the route ahead, and events occurring on the road. The system can also perform braking and evasive maneuvers on its own.
If the sensors become dirty or when it encounters shadows, the Drive Pilot system is supported by a digital HD map to provide 3D imaging of the road and surroundings, including road conditions, traffic signs, or even accidents and road works which basically allows the car to know exactly what lies ahead.
In the event of any malfunction, the Drive Pilot System can perform a safe handover of vehicle controls back to the driver. If the driver does not respond to the takeover request within a maximum of ten seconds, the Drive Pilot system will initiate an emergency stop in the safest way possible.