Here Technologies’ HD Live Map is being deployed by Mercedes-Benz in its Drive Pilot system, an AD technology set to feature on the newest iteration of the company’s S-Class. Drive Pilot is stated to be the first commercially available SAE Level 3 automated driving system enabling vehicles to self-drive under specific conditions on selected German roads.
Autonomous driving is enabled by accurate information about currently unknown road and traffic situations ahead being delivered by the HD Live Map to the vehicle in advance. Upon Drive Pilot being activated, the S-Class will be able to maintain lane position, speed and distance to the vehicles ahead; and through a combination of Here’s highly detailed 3D road map and the car’s sensors, safe and calculated maneuvers on public roads can be carried out in complete autonomy.
The HD Live Map consists of multiple layers and feeds constant information to the vehicle about changing traffic conditions ahead such as road closures or accidents, giving the car enough time to adjust speed.
“In combination with extensive sensor data, Drive Pilot receives information about the road geometry, route profile, traffic signs and unusual traffic events (e.g., accidents or roadworks) from a digital HD map – which is one key element for automated driving. Its ultra-precise positioning system goes well beyond the usual GPS system. This enables us to give our customers back one of the most precious things in life: time – combined with a luxurious driving experience,” commented Georges Massing, vice president MBOS, automated driving, Powernet and integration E/E, Mercedes-Benz.
“We’re thrilled to be among the world’s first companies to provide an HD map for series production vehicles capable of automated driving at SAE Level 3,” added Edzard Overbeek, CEO, Here Technologies. “We’re excited to see that Mercedes-Benz drivers will soon be able to officially take their hands off the steering wheel in certain conditions while our HD Live Map helps Drive Pilot to drive them comfortably and safely.”
To begin with, the system will allow the vehicle to be driven in an automated mode at speeds of up to 60km/h when in heavy traffic or congestion along certain stretches of German highways. Over time the system will be expanded and updated to cover more highway areas alongside the technology being integrated into more upcoming Mercedes-Benz vehicles.