2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Comes With Built-In Level 3 Autonomy
【Summary】In traditional fashion, Mercedes-Benz has packed its all-new 2021 S-Class with cutting-edge features, which includes a Level 3 autonomous system that’s called Drive Pilot.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been the automaker's most high-tech vehicle, consistently ushering in cutting-edge technology when new models are introduced. Just like its predecessors, the 2021 S-Class is a technological marvel with features that include an active suspension system that can prepare the vehicle for a side impact, driver biometrics, active ambient lighting, and so much more. One of the extra goodies found on the S-Class is a Level 3-ready autonomous system called Drive Pilot.
Will Level 3 Be Available In The U.S.?
Level 3 autonomy has been closely associated with the new S-Class for some time when prototypes of the sedan started to test publicly. While the U.S. press release for the new S-Class doesn't mention anything about Level 3 autonomy, the European version does. Before we dive deep into the details, the Level 3 autonomous system won't go live in Germany until the second half of 2021 with no mention of it being offered in the U.S. So, while it's certainly a cool system, there's a slim chance that it will come to America.
Drive Pilot will be usable "in situations where traffic density is high or in tailbacks, on suitable motorway sections in Germany." Level 3 autonomy means the car will be able to drive all on its own, but a driver is required to be prepared to take over at all times. Mercedes believes the system will allow drivers to send a text or browse the Internet without worrying about getting into an accident. Drivers, though, will have to be able to take control of the vehicle and drive manually within 10 seconds if needed. So, you can forget about writing your autobiography.
In order to keep an eye on the driver, the S-Class comes with a driver monitoring system that's similar to the one found on vehicles with Cadillac's Super Cruise system. Mercedes' luxury car tracks the driver's eye and head movements. Look away for too long, and the system will request that you take control of the car. Fail to do so in a timely manner, and the vehicle will eventually come to a stop in its lane.
To give the S-Class the ability to drive itself, at least for most of the time, the sedan comes with a few extras over the standard suite of sensors. There's LiDAR, a few external microphones, and an extra rear camera in the rear window. The external microphones are used to identify emergency vehicles.
Level 4 Parking Also Included
There's a separate autonomous system that's equipped on the 2021 S-Class and it's a Level 4 system, but only when it comes to parking. The system is called Automatic Valet Parking and it's only one step below from having a car without a steering wheel. When the vehicle is within a properly equipped parking structure, the S-Class can be dropped off at a designated location and then told to go park itself via a smartphone app. The car will go find a spot and can return to the drop-off point when you're ready to head home.
Lastly, an available parking package allows owners to remotely control the S-Class. This system sounds similar to Hyundai's Smart Park feature. The fully autonomous parking system sounds nearly identical to what Ford and Bosch showcased recently.
All of this autonomous technology sounds cutting edge and would certainly put the new S-Class on par with Tesla. Unfortunately, because of laws in the U.S., it's unclear if America will ever get the systems. Either way, Mercedes set certainly set the record straight with its flagship sedan as being a futuristic model.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
AAA Study Finds Driver-Assist Systems Struggle in Bad Weather
J.D. Power Study Finds That New Owners Don’t Use a Lot of Advanced Tech Features
Semiconductor Chip Shortage Could Extend Well Into 2022
Tesla Moving Its Headquarters to Texas, a State Where it Cannot Sell its Vehicles Directly to Customers
Ford Spices Up 2022 Mustang With New Appearance Packages
Report: Rivian Continued to Steal Secrets, Staff After Tesla Lawsuit
Tesla Model 3, Model Y Get Price Increases
Crash Avoidance Features Benefit Teen Drivers the Most
- HAAS Alert Raises $5 Million to Expand its Cellular Emergency Vehicle Alert Network in the U.S.
- The New Mercedes-Benz AMG GT63 S E Plug-in Hybrid is the Most Powerful AMG Model Ever Made
- Toyota to Offer New Replacement Parts for the Land Cruiser to Help Owners Keep Them on the Road
- General Motors Invests $300 Million in Chinese Autonomous Driving Startup Momenta
- Mercedes-Benz Parent Daimler Takes a 33% Stake in Automotive Cells Company (ACC), to Source Batteries for its European Market EVs
- Solar-Electric Car Startup Sono Motors to Use a Connected Vehicle Software Platform From Silicon Valley-based Sibros
- Toyota to Assembly Fuel Cell Modules in Kentucky Starting in 2023 to Support the Rollout of Hydrogen-Powered Class-8 Trucks
- Intel’s Autonomous Driving Arm Mobileye is Testing its Self-driving Technology in New York City
- Hyundai and its Autonomous Driving Partner Motional Reveal the Next-Generation IONIQ 5 Robotaxi
- With New EV Tax Credits Being Proposed, is Tesla & Toyota Being Treated Unfairly Because They Don’t Employ Union Workers?