Mercedes beats Tesla in self-driving car race

In Germany, Mercedes is starting to market its S-Class and EQS equipped with level 3 autonomous driving technology.

For several years now, manufacturers have been working on the development of autonomous cars. A promising technology, which should make it possible in the coming decades to travel in vehicles requiring no driver intervention. The latter can then sleep, read, or even work while traveling, thus allowing him to no longer suffer from driving in traffic jams. At least in a future where the legislation will allow it.

If we are not quite at this stage at the moment, many car brands are now offering level 2 semi-autonomous driving on their vehicles. No question of completely letting go of the wheel for the moment – but it will soon be possible -, since level 3 will soon be authorized on French roads, but under certain specific conditions.

As the summer of 2022 approaches, a manufacturer is already offering this technology, just available on production models.

A better system

Even further ahead than Tesla, Mercedes is indeed the very first manufacturer on the market to market models equipped with level 3 autonomous driving. This technology, here called Drive Pilot, allows the driver to drive without having to keep his hands on the wheel, which is the case with level 2, less advanced but the only one currently authorized on the roads.

Level 3, out of five in total, means that the car can drive alone, but only in certain situations. In the case of Mercedes, this feature can only be activated on motorways and up to 60 km/h only. That is, the driver will be able to use it only in traffic jams. A limited use therefore, but very useful for all those who will take the road to go to work or on vacation.

Only on Class S and EQS

Unlike Tesla, which uses cameras, Mercedes’ system uses LIDAR, supplied by Valeo. Once the system is activated, it is responsible for keeping the vehicle in its lane and monitoring the distance with other road users, completely autonomously. Note that the Drive Pilot is also able to recognize priority vehicles.

Currently only available in Germany, this device is offered as an option on the Mercedes S-Class and EQS, for an amount between 5,000 and 7,430 euros. It is not yet known when the Drive Pilot will arrive in France, while the German firm is currently in the process of having it certified for Nevada and California.


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