Mercedes beats Tesla to hands-free driving on the Autobahn


The automaker got the green light to sell its Drive Pilot package for use on stretches of the country’s Autobahn network at a speed of up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, Mercedes said Dec 9. — dpa

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz won regulatory approval to deploy a hands-free driving system in Germany ahead of Tesla Inc, gaining an edge in the race to offer higher levels of automation in one of the world’s most competitive car markets.

The automaker got the green light to sell its Drive Pilot package for use on stretches of the country’s Autobahn network at a speed of up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, Mercedes said Dec 9.

The system was approved for Level 3 autonomous driving, a notch higher than Tesla’s Level 2 Autopilot system, and will allow a drivers to take their hands off the wheel in slow-moving traffic.

“Drive Pilot enables the driver to turn away from the traffic and focus on certain secondary activities,” the luxury-car maker said in a statement. “For example, to communicate with colleagues via the in-car office, to write emails, to surf the Internet or to relax and watch a film.”

Tesla, Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and others have been chasing self-driving technology for years. A fully autonomous vehicle would be highly attractive to premium customers, allowing drivers to work or use entertainment systems while on journeys.

Mercedes got permission for the system only in Germany, but said it’s aiming for regulatory approval in other jurisdictions as well. Drive Pilot will be an option for the S-Class and EQS models from around the middle of next year. The automaker hasn’t decided how much it will charge for the system, which has approval to be used on around 13,000 kilometers of Germany’s highway network.

Optimistic views

Tesla has run into trouble in Europe’s biggest car market with its driver-assistance technology after a German court rebuffed the company’s promotion of Autopilot last year, saying the carmaker has misled consumers about what the system can do.

Chief executive officer Elon Musk has long offered optimistic views on the capabilities of his cars, even going so far as to start charging customers thousands of dollars for a “Full Self Driving” feature in 2016. Years later, Tesla still requires users of its Autopilot system to be fully attentive and ready to take over driving at any time.

Mercedes isn’t the first automaker to market Level 3 technology in a production car. Honda Motor Co in 2020 received approval from Japanese regulators for such a system in its Legend model, although only deployed it in a limited production run. – Bloomberg

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Tech News

Car-buyer backlash looms as automakers pursue software riches
'Mario Party Superstars': A family-friendly nostalgia trip
Bitcoin mining’s hearing in US house questions power usage
Bitcoin falls 9.3% to $36,955
Brazilian fintech Dock will use crypto for international remittances
Are electric cars more prone to rust?
Twitter says two security team leaders leaving company
Google asks judge to dismiss most of Texas antitrust lawsuit
Workers at Activision Blizzard-owned studio Raven say they have formed union
Pelosi says House will soon introduce competitiveness bill to boost chip investment

Others Also Read


Vouchers