The Future. Mercedes-Benz has been permitted by the regulatory body of California to bring its fleet of vehicles equipped with its “hands-off, eyes-off” autonomous driving system to the public. It’s the first of its kind that’s not just ready for the road but for consumers. It may not be as sophisticated as the systems used by rideshare services like Waymo and Cruise, but the rollout might be the first checkpoint to a future where drivers don’t actually need to drive.
Free on the freeways
California just granted Mercedes license for drivers to take their eyes off the road.
- The automaker received a permit to sell and lease cars using its Drive Pilot, its Level 3 autonomous driving system.
- That means drivers can “watch videos, text or talk to a passenger without watching the road ahead or having their hands on the wheel,” per Techcrunch.
There are stipulations to Drive Pilot’s use. The system can only be used on certain freeways, in daylight, and speeds up to 40mph. Basically, it’s the perfect technology for a traffic jam.
Mercedes has reportedly taken a pretty slow approach to rolling out its Drive Pilot system to the public, applying for permission in every state — whether they need to or not. It’s already used in the company’s home country of Germany, as well as in Nevada.