New technology takes time. At least, if it’s being created in German, where they like to get things right. Mercedes-Benz has been working on a semi-autonomous driving system for more than five years now. Now, it’s basically ready.
And it’s not just German automotive engineers who say so. The automaker’s Drive Pilot semi-autonomous system has cracked the nod from the country’s Kraftfahrt Bundesamt (KBA) authority. The KBA swings a lot of weight in terms of cars on the road in Germany.
Mercedes-Benz, take the wheel
The KBA signed off on Merc’s Drive Pilot system based on guidelines laid out by the United Nations. You know, that thing Britain’s no longer a part of? This opens the door for an international launch, but other countries also have to approve its use. The KBA has given Drive Pilot clearance for speeds up to 60km/h but hasn’t ruled on speeds up to 130km/h and automatic lane-changing as yet.
The next countries on Mercedes-Benz’s list? China, and the USA, as soon as all the legal stuff is ironed out. German drivers will have access to Drive Pilot-fitted S-Class Mercs by mid-2022. Level 3 driving automation has been legal in that country, and Mercedes-Benz says that there are more than 13,000km of road in the country that ‘support’ Drive Pilot.
“With this milestone, we are once again proving our pioneering work in automated driving and also initiating a radical paradigm shift,” said Markus Schaefer, Daimler’s CTO. But then, he would say something like that.