Mercedes-Benz begins sale of its drive pilot system for the S-Class and EQS models

From May 17, 2022, Mercedes-Benz will offer its Drive Pilot system as an optional extra for the newest S-Class and EQS models. This comes after the German automaker became the first in the world to achieve the stringent regulatory standards of UN-R157 for an SAE Level 3 autonomous driving system in December of last year.

Customers in Germany will be able to order the intelligent technology beginning in mid-April for €5,000 (about. $5,200) for the S-Class and €7,816 (approx. $7,800) for the EQS. These prices include both the necessary hardware and software, and no further subscriptions are required for the time being.

It should be noted that Level 3 does not imply a completely autonomous car. Mercedes' technology lets the driver to delegate all driving functions to the tech in heavy traffic or on eligible German motorways with speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour. Under these situations, the driver can completely withdraw from driving, with the system controlling speed and distance and steering the car within its lane. 

More crucially, the technology adapts to unforeseen traffic circumstances and prevents potentially hazardous maneuvers. Mercedes owners will be able to relax, play games, or even work while their vehicles drive themselves. It is, in effect, a hands-free and 'eyes off' experience.

Vehicles are mounted with LiDAR, camera, radar, and ultrasound sensors, as well as a high-precision map with centimetre accuracy. All of this data helps the car to pinpoint its location and identify potential hazards.

While the system may not be able to function in all settings, it is nevertheless an impressive feat. As time passes and Mercedes-Benz continues to invest in this technology, we can only anticipate Drive Pilot to become more powerful and capable of operating on more roads – and at faster speeds.

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