Mercedes-Benz has become the first automotive company in the world to meet the legal requirements of UN-R157 for a Level 3 autonomous driving system. The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has granted system approval to Mercedes based on UN-R157, thus paving the way for international rollout of the system, provided that national legislation allows it.
Germany has taken a pioneering role in legislating for autonomous driving, following its establishment of the Road Traffic Act (StVG) for Level 3 systems in 2017. Thanks to this, customers will be able to buy an S-Class saloon equipped with Mercedes Drive Pilot in the first half of 2022, enabling them to drive in conditionally automated mode at speeds of up to 60km/h in heavy traffic or congested situations on suitable stretches of motorway in Germany.
“For many years, we have been working to realize our vision of automated driving. With this lidar-based system, we have developed an innovative technology for our vehicles that offers customers a unique, luxurious driving experience and gives them what matters most: time. With the approval of the authorities, we have now achieved a breakthrough: We are the first manufacturer to put conditionally automated driving into series production in Germany,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the board of management of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, chief technology officer responsible for development and purchasing.
“With this milestone, we are once again proving our pioneering work in automated driving and also initiating a radical paradigm shift. For the first time in 136 years of automotive history, the vehicle takes over the dynamic driving task under certain conditions. At the same time, we are pleased that Germany is continuing its pioneering role in automated driving with this approval.”
Mercedes-Benz will initially offer Drive Pilot as an option on 13,191km of motorway in Germany. As soon as there is a national legal framework for conditionally automated operation in additional markets, Mercedes says the technology will be rolled out step by step.